Dear Free Space Community,
It’s been almost a year since the Minnehaha Free Space moved into our space on Minnehaha Avenue. During that time, we’ve had many successes, learned some important lessons, and have been continually working to improve what we do. In an effort to make the space better for youth and their families, our volunteer staff, and other Free Space users, we have decided to change our approach to youth engagement at the space.
Beginning on Monday, May 14th, we will begin a new policy of permitting youth* unaccompanied in the space during open hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays. On these Youth Days, we will plan for additional staff and activities for youth. On all other days, youth must be accompanied by a responsible adult at the Free Space.
With this new approach, volunteer staff will be able to give youth more focused attention, better supervision and planned activities during the Youth Days.
On all other days, having a responsible adult such as a family member accompanying youth in the space will create a safer, more positive environment for kids, volunteers and others. With this new policy, the resources of the Free Space will be more accessible to all.
In order to ensure the safest experience for youth in the space, please review the following:
- All youth participating in Youth Days are expected to have an up-to-date emergency contact form. Please come by the space to pick one up and let us know if any information changes.
- We strive to be family friendly by offering resources for all ages. However, we are not a childcare service and cannot be held responsible for youth in the space. Families must be available should a child need to leave the space at any time.
- We expect youth to be respectful in the space at all times. We will not tolerate bullying, whether in language or behavior. We encourage you to discuss this with your children.
- Families are responsible for making sure youth arrive and leave safely. Please use caution when crossing the street and encourage safe crossing practices with your children (using the crosswalk, looking both ways, crossing with others).
If you have any questions, would like to give us feedback, or would like to get involved, please feel free to contact us! You can call us at 612-729-3733, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the space during open hours (Monday–Friday 2-7pm, Saturday/Sunday 1-5pm)
Thank you for working with us to make the space better for everybody.
The MARS Collective/Minnehaha Free Space
* For this policy, we currently define youth as middle school (8th grade) age and younger.