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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2011 Archives > January 2011 > Transfer Former Drug House

Mayor And US Attorney Hochul Announce Transfer Of Former Drug House To Social Service Organization

Contact: Peter K. Cutler
             (716) 851-4841


425 Normal Avenue Will Become a Skills and Career Training Center for Young Women


Mayor Byron W. Brown and United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. today announced the property transfer of 425 Normal Avenue. The community organization It Takes a Village/Justice Lifeline will take on the property and use it as a housing and training center for young females.
425 Normal Avenue was seized by federal authorities due to continuous narcotic activity, and was ultimately transferred to the city. It Takes a Village/Justice Lifeline applied for the property and was approved by the City of Buffalo Housing Committee. The group plans to utilize the property as a training center for young females, without children and between the ages of 15-25.


“The transformation of this property from drug house to career training center will be a positive and inspirational development for the neighborhood,” said Mayor Brown. “I am proud to see that community organizations visualized the potential of this property and took the initiative to develop it. A skills and career training center will be a valuable resource for young females and benefit many members of the community.”


“This is a great example of how all levels of government can work together to turn a negative into a positive,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. “Whereas this property was once the site of illegal narcotic activity, it will soon be home to a training center helping young women learn skills for success.
Our office will continue to take property used in crime out of the hands of criminals and either return it to its rightful owner or put it to good use through an organization such as It Takes a Village/Justice Lifeline.”


The building in the front of the property will house 3-6 females and the rear property will be utilized for life skills and career training. The group plans to open the rear cottage to the community for access to training services. It Takes a Village/Justice Lifeline has received commitments from several construction companies. Conway and Conway Architects has agreed to provide assistance with remodeling and upgrading the transitional housing and training center. CBC Construction will make all required repairs to the front and rear premises. Michael Macaluso Construction Partnering will provide mentorship regarding project budgeting, construction management and volunteerism.

Once the property is redeveloped and the training center opens, the female participants will receive essential life skills and career training. Capital Management Services, Inc. will provide job-related educational materials for trainees and consultation curriculum. Capital Management Services will also consider hiring 5-10 people per month for job placement. Atlas Steel has agreed to provide training and placement for individuals as welders, grinders and other entry level positions, after candidates receive basic skills and comprehensive training from It Takes a Village/Justice Lifeline. Atlas Steel has guaranteed job placement for 6 applicants each year.


The Erie County Youth Bureau has agreed to refer eligible youth to be considered for It Takes a Village’s comprehensive assistance. Goodwill Industries of WNY will assist with job placement, provide training and accept referrals from It Takes a Village/Justice Lifeline. ECC will provide free training and certifications.


“It Takes a Village is a faith-based organization that is working in the community to help change lives and alter destinies,” said Beverly Newkirk, Executive Director of the social service organization. “We will be offering skills training and counseling to help participants find out who they are. Once they know who they are, they will do better. Our goal is to change apathy to activity.”