TARKINGTON TEEN WORK CREW
And how do we get the community to see young people as an asset in the neighborhood? 2017 redevelopment of Tarkington Park brought new life to the space by prioritizing the needs of families with young children. But in attending to one group, they displaced another: the teenagers who had long used the park as a gathering place. Heightened security led to arrests for minor offenses and probation sentences for teens caught in the middle.
Our young people no longer felt like they belonged in the park and their usual ways of socializing were deemed threatening by the newly invited community, who were largely unfamiliar with the cultural fabric of the neighborhood. With summer approaching, we knew we had to do something to bridge the gap.
The Tarkington Teen Work Crew, our summer program offering teens a weekly $100 stipend, was launched with a focus on neighborhood beautification to: