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Former drug house turned into home for job training

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Mayor Brown with US Attorney William Hochul

By Michael Mroziak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-946546.mp3

Buffalo, NY – A former Buffalo drug house on the City's West Side will soon be reopened to help young women prepare for the workforce. WBFO's Michael Mroziak was inside 425 Normal Avenue as city and federal leaders explained future plans for the house.

Back in 2007, the house at 425 Normal Avenue was known for drug activity. Buffalo police, acting on tips from the public, made several arrests and later the house was seized by federal agents. The federal government later returned ownership of the property to the city, which in turn is handing the house over to the group It Takes A Village / Justice Lifeline. Executive Director Beverly Newkirk says this will be a future home of job training for young women, once it's cleaned and fixed over the next year:

"We're going to start off with house cleaning first-- picking up and making sure that everything outside the house is done well-- and then the inside."

US Attorney William Hochul said the rebirth of this house should be a symbol for the neighborhood:

"I believe this will now mark yet another occasion when what had been an eye-sore-- when what had been a detrimental property for the community-- will now become a positive. A training center for those who wish to improve themselves and to help better the City of Buffalo in general."

Hochul credits a team effort, starting with the citizens who first complained to the police about criminal activities inside the house. Mayor Byron Brown says the city's confidential tip line is now taking in an all-time high volume of calls.

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