What is The SPACE's safe(r) space policy?

PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY The SPACE Youth Centre strives to be physically accessible. There are physically accessible bathrooms and no stairs, but there are certainly improvements to be made and we welcome recommendations on how to be more accessible. The SPACE also works towards creating a more accessible environment that meets the needs of neurodivergent youth. The SPACE encourages a scent-free community. WELLBEING We strive to have food available. We have spaces for silence, self-care, and prayer. We are here to talk if you need some support. We have a partnership with the Youth Wellness Centre and can connect you if you could use mental health care. VIOLENCE & ABUSE Words and actions matter. We try to speak and act in ways that show that everyone is human and valuable. We want to speak and act with love. The SPACE seeks to create a space that’s free of abuse and violence. Violence and abuse can include sexual violence, sexism, racism, classism, fatphobia, islamophobia, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, colonialism, and many other oppressions. Do not deny someone’s injustice. Please see staff & resources for more information on how these things happen. Behaviour or language that does not treat people as human or valuable will be addressed and taken seriously by our community--it’s not okay for family to hurt family. We choose to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of survivors of violence and abuse. If you have a concern about someone’s behavior at The SPACE please connect with a leader in our community. CONSENT This is a great place to practice consent and asking permission. A few great places to start are (1) asking permission before touching someone, their service animals or any mobility device they use, (2) asking permission before taking someone’s photo, and (3) asking what gender pronoun they use (i.e. she/her, he/him, they/them or other pronouns). Check out our zine collection for more knowledge on these ideas. WHAT DOES ACCESSIBILITY MEAN TO YOU? If you have questions or ideas, please connect with a leader in the space. IF YOU AREN'T PROMOTING A SAFE(R) SPACE We strive to work through a process of learning and unlearning, while negotiating the healing needed of people in our space and what accountability looks like. However, if your words or actions continue to not promote a healthy safe(r) space, we will discuss whether you can be at The SPACE or if you will need to attend mandatory trainings.

What happens at The SPACE?

We create a space of learning and unlearning, provide dope drop-in programming, speak back to and advocate for the needs of the people in our community, provide workshops, host tournaments of every type, connect youth to resources, build genuine relationships, care for each other, eat meals together, and more. The list can go on but essentially, we do a bit of everything.

Who does The SPACE belong to?

The SPACE belongs to all the youth who make up our community. As an organization our work mainly focuses on marginalized youth and youth of colour. However, everyone who walks through our doors is invited to be a part of our family and has ownership over the wellbeing of our space - this means that everyone has a shared responsibility to take care of our community. The SPACE is built by and kept together by the youth who care about our community and who exist within it.

What are The SPACE's values?

By youth, for youth. Community is family. Once you know better, do better. Justice means taking action. You can learn more about these values HERE.

What does learning and unlearning look like?

Learning and unlearning is an ongoing process, based on the understanding that there are things we are taught or shown in others' behaviour that are untrue, unjust, toxic, and harmful. We believe that each person needs to engage in a process of learning, unlearning, challenging harmful beliefs, and exploring better, healthier ways to exist alongside one another. This process could look like finding the tools or information to know and do better, talking about difficult topics with a couple of friends, or calling someone in when you see harmful behaviour.

Maya Angelou said, "Do your best until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better." This is one of our core values at The SPACE.

What are some of the things I can expect when I come by?

The SPACE has a variety of programming (click HERE to learn more), and a number of rooms that youth can access such as a lounge, resource room, games room and large hall. If it is people’s first time at The SPACE, they will be greeted by a friendly face and given a tour/orientation to introduce them to our space and community.

Is The SPACE accessible?

The SPACE strives to be physically accessible. There are physically accessible bathrooms and front doors, and no stairs, but there are certainly improvements to be made and we welcome recommendations on how to be more accessible.