Newark shelter residents learn home renovation

A Newark Housing Authority program teaches construction skills to residents of the Sussex House, a shelter for the homeless. The crews make $22 an hour rehabbing public housing units across the city.

Shante Rovinsky, 28, knew nothing about stripping paint from walls. But she is learning enough skills to rehab an entire apartment, including spackling and tiling.

Housing official Vincent Rouse said the program lets the residents earn an income and motivates them to move out of the shelter and into a place of their own—part of a vision of economic inclusion

Laborers Local 55 partnered with the city to provide the hands-on training that goes beyond what they may have received as hired day workers.

Naje Burgess said the program has proven inspirational.

The program is not limited to Sussex House residents but for those like