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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  October 21, 2015 12:30am-1:01am EDT

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national guard may be fatal. a day ahead of the world indigenous games, this confrontation could be something the brazilian government can ill afford. quick reminder, you can keep up to date with the latest news and analysis on the website at aljazeera.com. it's the city is down. i'd like the health to get better. >> i'm working, surviving without being to be street. >> deconstructing. >> we're giving individuals reasons not to commit this act. >> since april 22nd, took the opportunity to show the bad side. but the young people that i'm seeing they want a chance to turn that around. >> baltimore is my adopted home.
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i moved here more than a decade ago, i quickly fell in love with its neighborhoods and its rich history. i'm adam may. as a reporter that covered the death of freddy gray, the rioting that broke out afterwards and the bloodshed and murder it struck me that too many stories are going untold. stories of people trying to solve root problems, problems like poverty, joblessness and drug addiction. tonight we highlight the inspiring stories, the innovative ideas of those who are trying to save baltimore. >> i love it, it was challenging, something i had never done. >> bernadette buxon celebrated her first anniversary working in deconstruction.
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tearing down some of baltimore's vast stretches of abandoned row houses. >> just the drill, it is not as easy as some people think. to drill a door is sway ask a some ways a door, to take out a drill, it looks easy but it's not. a lot of other tools now. >> the 52-year-old woman from east baltimore didn't plan on working in deconstruction. she was a teacher's smint until thteacher's assistantuntil the s evils to make quick cash ruined her life. >> how did you become unemployable? >> i had worked in the school system and had left to take care of somebody and i got into selling drugs again and didn't go back to work and then i started using. >> what kind of drugs? >> heroin? >> heroin. >> yes.
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what did heroin do to your life? >> tore my life apart. family wise everything. i lost custody of my kids. >> how old were your kids when you lost custody of them? >> seven and eight. six and five. >> at rock bottom, she decided to go clean. but like tens of thousands of other ex-felons in baltimore she found herself hampered with a criminal record. it took her years to land this job. part of a social program called details, sponsored by humana. >> you waited a decade for this job. >> i had to fill out so many applications, because of my background. >> nobody would hire you. >> no. >> how does that feel in your heart when you can't support yourself?
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>> i was little bit broken. because i didn't want to go back to the streets. to make money that way. >> buxon leaves her house early to make it to work by 7:30, walking through streets ravaged by drugs and joblessness. lined with abandoned homes, some of the 16,000 empty properties in baltimore. >> deconstruction is the means but the end is to create jobs, that's what we're after. >> until last year max pollack worked in a cubicle. seeing a city in need of radical urban renewal. nearly a quarter of baltimore's population lives below the port poverty align. unemployment in this area is running 30%. >> if you have these dual issues
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of high unemployment and drug abuse. >> you see block after block of vacant homes. how is this solving that issue? >> the vacant houses that you see in baltimore are less you know they're less a -- the problem itself and there may be more of a symptom of problems that have existed in baltimore for the past 50 years. >> they're what we see. >> yeah, right. >> what do they symbolize? >> they symbolize the loss of industry. they symbolize the loss of jobs. you know institutional neglect. disinvestment. >> generational poverty? >> poverty that is embedded within certain neighborhoods. >> removing empty homes just part of the mission. so is rebuilding broken lives. like bernadette buxon, 70% of detail's staffers have a
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conviction on their record. what does the city get out of you guys hiring felons? >> the city gets a number of things. one, it creates way more jobs. these are people that otherwise may not be working and we pay them a living wage with benefits. with the city awarding us the contract it's putting the jobs back in the community. >> johnny washington said he spent years looking for work, held back by two stints in prison racked up by years of dealing drugs. >> what happened when you applied? >> my background, my felonies on my record. >> did they call you back, do you not hear anything? >> i don't hear anything at all. they call me back and they tell me my background didn't go through. >> how do you think that's impacting their record, the fact that they don't find jobs, how does that affect folks?
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>> they go back out on the streets and do what they have to do to feed their family. >> johnny has worked his way up to crew leader. he recently completed work on this site, tearing down ten row houses on bradford street just a few blocks from where he said he used to sell heroin. >> do these house he you tear down look like these? >> yes, two story row houses. >> what kind of stuff do you find in these houses? >> jut about everything, drugs, needles, you have to be careful when you go in the basements of houses. >> esthetics aren't the only reason to tear down baltimore's urban rot. it provides a haven for the epidemic washington used to be a part of. >> do you get
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pate? >> more than i would have without a job. >> not as much as drug dealing. >> no, but cashing your paycheck, getting a pay stub feels good to me. >> our first project we hired we created 24 to 26 jobs i think. so that's people bringing home a paycheck every day. people going to the corner store to spend money on lunch there. you can think of it as a microinvestment strategy in certain neighborhoods. >> what kind of work have you done in here then already? >> in this one we've basically gutted the building leaving a shell essentially. >> deconstruction. the pains take salvaging of wood and bricks is more expensive than simply bulldozing the homes. so to help pay for program, details came up with another innovative solution. reselling the materials. they're biggest money-maker: old bricks.
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>> most people would see a nondescript wall in an alley in baltimore. for enough of these bricks, if you have enough of them that's an hour of work we can pay somebody. >> from what i used to be, what i used to do, look at me now, i'm surviving. selling drugs, hanging on corners, getting high. i don't -- i'm at -- when i say look at me, it's a different look, that people look at me now. they see somebody that's achieved something. >> do you see people looking add you different now? >> yes, i get a lot of compliments. that i didn't get before. strangers, you know, especially being a woman. walking down the street with a hard hat on. you go girl, you go girl, you know? that put a smile on my face. it really does. >> do you think you're helping save baltimore? >> i did, in my heart i really do. i'm glad to be a part of something that is growing.
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and i want to keep the door open for the next person behind me. >> once part of the problems with baltimore, buxon is now repairing it. one brick at a time. details is now expanding. but with 16,000 abandoned buildings across this city, there is a long way to go. whether we come back: one doctor trying to cure baltimore's many ailments, finding unique allies, and later: why was a glass building right in the middle of april's riots left virtually untouched?
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>> last year's crisis at the u.s. border seemingly disappeared, but where have the migrants gone? america tonight's lori jane gliha goes in search of answers. >> under that yellow tarp there, that's the fourth murder of today. >> a new migrant crisis. >> this year is more difficult to come to the united states. >> moved to another border. >> we're on a river between mexico and guatemala. >> is mexico doing america's dirty work? >> everything that's happening here is illegal.
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> two palestinian teenagers are shot dead in the occupied west bank. u.n. chief ban ki-moon is calling for calm. welcome to al jazeera. here from doha, in the next half hour... ..a new prime minister and a new foreign policy. justin trudeau sells president obama that he is withdrawing canadian fighters from i.s.i.l. and iran