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In the Spring of 2012, Virgin Mobile presented Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY) with a special capital grant of $100,000 for costs associated with building a new home for homeless youth in Washington’s impoverished Marshall Heights neighborhood.
Named the Sasha Bruce Re* Generation House by Virgin Mobile, this new home – created through the dedicated volunteerism of over 150 volunteers and through in-kind or discounted labor and materials from dozens of construction firms and carpenters – will be complete in mid-October. We are currently planning a special, high-profile ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Re* Generation House, for which we expect wide-spread media attention.
This new home for 8 homeless youth will also function as the base of operations for SBY’s Growing our Future project. The overall goal of the Growing our Future project is to promote a self-sustaining, social enterprise model of income and entrepreneurial opportunities for homeless and disconnected youth. With $5,000 in seed funds carved-out of Virgin Mobile’s capital grant for purposes of launching our entrepreneurial project, the home includes a state-of-the-art greenhouse and composting operation. In the coming months, the sun will warm the inside of the greenhouse so that youth and community members will be able to grow baby greens which we will market to local restaurants. In fact, with the dedicated expertise of key partner Beet Street Gardens, SBY has already initiated our proposed entrepreneurial project, and we will be using the greenhouse and composting station to “feed” a garden at this new home for homeless youth, as well as our garden at the Sasha Bruce House shelter and our nascent garden and orchard project at a nearby public housing site.