New non-profit 'Brick-by-Brick' provides jobs and pay for North - KMOV.com

New non-profit 'Brick-by-Brick' provides jobs and pay for North City residents

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"Brick by Brick" is providing jobs for many people in North City. Credit: KMOV "Brick by Brick" is providing jobs for many people in North City. Credit: KMOV
NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

Each summer, "Clean Sweep" brings volunteers and construction companies together to knock down abandoned homes in north St. Louis. Now a new non-profit called "Brick-by-Brick" is allowing a chance for the people who live in North City to clean and pallet the bricks to sell them, and then they get part of the money from the sale.

Tieruse Cox oversees the brick cleaning and palleting project. After "Clean Sweep" volunteers knock down buildings, the bricks are brought to a lot on Goodfellow Blvd. and Natural Bridge Ave. Cox says everyone who works in this brick lot is a north St. Louis resident. 

"They come out and help me, and I help them and we all make money together," said Cox.

This work is more meaningful than just manual labor for those who are cleaning the bricks. These workers are part of the process of cleaning up their own neighborhood which has several vacant homes in it.  

"A lot of people use these vacant homes for a lot of negative activities, so it eliminates that and makes the neighborhood look better, it's cleaner," Cox. 

Once these workers finish and get the bricks on pallets, they are placed on trucks and driven to southern coastal states, like Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Each shipment is 17 pallets on average. The North City residents working on this project will get money from the sale of the pallets. 

"I think it's a revolving circle so everybody's happy at the end of the day," said Rodrick Johnson, one of the brick workers.

For worker Mantell Lynon, he says he's doing this job for his two kids at home. He hopes he can be a role model to them.

"There are many routes that people can take, but I'd rather take this hard route because easy money ain't got me nowhere," said Lynon. 

The Regional Business Council (RBC) and 12 member companies have donated millions of dollars worth of labor, equipment and time into the "Clean Sweep" revitalization project and the "Brick-by-Brick" non-profit. 

RGC says 30 blocks in north St. Louis have already been cleaned up, impacting the lives of around 14,000 residents. 

"Clean Sweep" will last until September and in that time 10 more abandoned homes will be knocked down. 

If you want to be part of the 'Brick-by-Brick' project, call Tieruse Cox directly, (314) 585-1923.

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