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Lakeway Boy Scouts work to help formerly homeless individuals in Austin

A group of Lakeway Boy Scouts used their team-building skills Saturday to make a difference.

AUSTIN, Texas — The homeless camping on city streets has gotten a lot of people's attention lately – even Austin’s youth.

A group of Lakeway Boy Scouts used their team-building skills Saturday to make a difference.

“Homelessness has become an issue in Austin recently with the tents all around the streets,” Ryan Ballard said.

Troop 441 put their skills to good use by building benches at the Community First! Village in East Austin. It’s a place that provides affordable housing for the formerly homeless. 

Building a bench was 15-year-old Ballard's idea.

“Someone taking the time out of their day to help someone less fortunate than them – and what greater cause is there?” Ballard asked.

Credit: Karri Ballard

For his Eagle Scout project, he made the decision to not only build benches but also a tetherball court for this community.

“I feel like a tetherball court will give them an activity so they can get together and have a good time with each other,” Ballard said.


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To do it, he solicited the help of about a dozen of his friends and family members.

"I sanded a little bit over there and finished the wood using painted-on finish,” Boy Scout Finnegan McDevitt said.

“It’s nice to see the different things people can do here and help out and anywhere, really,” Zachary Ballard, Ryan's brother and fellow Scout, said.

Credit: Karri Ballard

"I think it's amazing we've got kids as young as 7th graders all the way up to sophomores in high school,” Karri Ballard, Ryan and Zachary's mother, said.

They spent hours Saturday working hard to improve the quality of life for many much older than them for a reason.

“It just kind-of makes you feel like even if I'm only 15, I can make a difference in the community in Austin,” Ryan Ballard said.

He and the troop wanted to make life a little better for those who have experienced homelessness by giving a helping hand.

WATCH: South Austin church putting homeless in homes


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