GOSHEN — A youth group equipped with 20 energetic teens and six counselors traveled 200 miles this week from central Ohio to help LaCasa Inc. make much-needed repairs to two Goshen homes and the historic Hawks building.
The Ecumenical Youth Group from Delaware, Ohio, is no stranger to the Maple City. The group has worked with LaCasa to rehab houses for construction workcamps at least five times, according to counselor Casey Clark.
“Their mission and our mission seem to fit,” he said. “We want to teach the students in this youth group service, and we want to do good work.”
Clark noted that the teens, who range from 14 to 18 years old, are working on “pretty significant construction.” They visited two houses this week in Goshen, one on the 1300 block of West Avenue and another on the 700 block of North Fifth Street.
Clark and a team of students were stationed at the Hawks building on Madison Street. LaCasa has been working to transform the south side of the three-story building into 35 loft apartments for artists. The youth group helped out by pulling up flooring to recycle, cleaning and repairing columns that are part of the building’s architecture among other work.
“I think this building is going to go a long way to help downtown,” Clark said. “It’s good for the area, and it’s going to be a real boom for restaurants and businesses. It can only be a good thing.”
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.