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Vacant and abandoned properties are a familiar part of the American landscape, from the boarded row house in North Philadelphia to the empty factory in Detroit to the collapsing farmhouse in rural Kansas.

The vacant homes strewn across many U.S. cities create blighted gaps on the landscape. While empty reminders of past development may present community challenges, according to a new report, these properties can also be potential vehicles for change.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Youngstown is expanding its summer camp offerings with programming at the McGuffey Centre on the city’s east side at 1649 Jacobs Road.

Less green in the city’s coffers will mean more green in the lots of vacant homes throughout Youngstown this summer.

“We had developed a reputation as an organization that just says no to people,” Executive Director Steven McGarrity said. “Legal Aid for a long time has not been focused on going out into the community. We sort of waited in our offices for the phone to ring.”