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Petitioning MPD & Sherman Associates

MPD & Sherman Associates: Plans underway for a neighborhood Safety Center to displace Youth Center

For more than ten years, the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM) has run a youth program in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. For a long time, the youth program was housed in different places around the neighborhood, until in May, 2010, when CSCM began renting space in the F building of the Riverside Plaza. CSCM has recently learned that, without the 120-days required notice of lease termination, Sherman Associates is not renewing the lease for the youth center. Instead, the space will be used as a Safety Center by the Minneapolis Police Department. While CSCM supports a Safety Center in the neighborhood we feel that kicking out a youth center is counterproductive as it leaves neighborhood youth likely to engage in risky behavior. The youth center is a very popular space for after-school homework help and as a summer day camp. CSCM has worked hard to provide a culturally appropriate space for families and youth of Cedar Riverside. Our tutors are University of Minnesota and Augsburg College students who develop mentor-ship relationships with the neighborhood youth. By establishing these bonds the neighborhood youth are encouraged to excel academically. At CSCM we believe that the best way to get youth away from the streets is by keeping them engaged through different youth programs like the homework center.

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