TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo youth this weekend were encouraged to become productive, responsible law abiding citizens.
It happened inside a vacant central Toledo house.
Shawn Mahone once lived in the house and heads up the group Young Men and Women for Change.
The house is now cold, vacant and gutted, a hangout for squatters, drug addicts and the homeless.
Mr. Mahone's message to kids and their parents: make the right choices and right decisions.
"If we don't help our youth now three things are going to happen. That's prison yard, graveyard and homelessness," said Mahone. "We wanted to give the kids the opportunity to understand what it was like living homeless, especially in an environment like this."
William and Ronnita Wren brought their two kids to the house because the youngsters are having issues in school.
"Just behavior-wise and grades sliding a little bit," said Ms. Wren.
Specifically, the kids are being bullied.
Her daughter Janae listened to Mr. Mahone's advice and now knows what to do when she's picked on.
"Ignore them," said Janae.
Another success story in this behavior modification boot camp.
"It's a good program. We need it in the city for our youth to keep them on the right track," said Mr. Wren.
A program giving a dose of reality meant to make kids productive leaders for tomorrow's future.