Group helping at-risk youth in Lebanon

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – The old retired steelworkers building on Chestnut Street in Lebanon doesn’t look like much now.

However, if Rob Cleapor get his wish it won’t be like that for long.

“Tomorrow our main focus is getting rid of some of the clutter,” he explained.

Cleapor is one of the founders of Sweep the Streets.

Sweep the Streets is a non-profit that helps at-risk youth in Lebanon by cleaning the place where they live.

“I think we have a need,” Cleapor said. “I think we have a lot of kids with absentee fathers, a lot of young men with absentee fathers and they need a positive male role model in their life.”

This past summer the group worked with children to help clean some areas of downtown Lebanon.

George Rodriguez is the Sweep the Streets other founder. He said he comes from a rough background and added that he knows children need strong mentors.

“They kind of grow up with the mentality I have to survive,” Rodriguez said. “That was my mentality. I got to survive, help the family. When you have that you sometimes don’t make the best decisions. We’re here to alternate that and turn that obstacle into an opportunity.”

On Saturday Sweep the Streets is cleaning the group’s home, which is on Chestnut Street, so a separate dance group has the chance to perform.

“Sweep the Streets is not only here to help the kids but they’re here to help the community as a whole,” Rodriquez added.

“These kids are the future of Lebanon and we need to get them involved in the community now,” Cleapor said.

The cleanup starts at noon on Saturday.

Cleapor and Rodriguez said they hope to eventually start working with children who have been expelled from the Lebanon School District and help them get back in class.

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