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Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz will address the public at an open house at 916 Ridgewood Way on Thursday, July 13, 2006 at 2:30 p.m. The Mayor will honor the accomplishments of a crew of young people, ages 16-24, from Operation Fresh Start/AmeriCorps who rebuilt the home to be sold to a lower-income, first-time homebuyer.

Mayor Cieslewicz will also recognize the accomplishments of a member of the crew, Brian Hale. Hale, age 20, has been selected from a national group of applicants to participate in a year-long Youthbuild/AmeriCorps effort to rebuild the community of North Gulfport, MS, devastated by Hurricane Katrina. For the next 12 months, Hale will live with a 35-member crew in a naval base near North Gulfport. The crew will form the core group of a larger AmeriCorps program whose goal is to build or rebuild 300 homes owned by low-income people in North Gulfport. Hale entered OFS through the Allied Neighborhood Youthbuild crew partially funded by City of Madison CDBG.

According to Mayor Cieslewicz, “Brian Hale’s example shows courage and dedication. This is disaster relief, not a cushy job. He won’t be making big money. He’ll be doing hard construction work and living in military dorms and eating navy food. But people affected by Hurricane Katrina are suffering and need our help. We want to thank Brian for the choice he is making.”

“We also want to thank the crew of young people who re-built our community closer to home at 916 Ridgeway,” said Cieslewicz. “These are signs of the same kind of commitment to improving our community.”

Hale sought the opportunity because he is enthusiastic about residential construction work and is looking forward to the opportunity to assist others. “This is a chance to help people who really need the help,” he said. Hale, who will leave for North Gulfport on July 18, has been a participant in OFS’ employment and training program since September 2005. In addition to rebuilding the house at Ridgewood Way, he has obtained his HSED and attended classes at MATC.

As part of AmeriCorps’ program Hale will receive a $4,000 living allowance, an AmeriCorps Education Award worth $4,725, an Individual Development Account totaling $4,800, OSHA and HAZMAT certification, and a chance to attend college courses at night.


  • Ald. Judy Olson, Council Office, 608-244-4721
  • Janet Piraino, Mayor's Office, 608-266-4611