Tour an imagined drop-in center for youth experiencing housing insecurity - Generocity Philly

Purpose

Nov. 8, 2019 8:15 am

Tour an imagined drop-in center for youth experiencing housing insecurity

Youth from West Philly created avatars of themselves leading a tour of their imagined center, The Stoop, with help from Neighborhood Time Exchange media artist María Alarcón.

Screen capture from People's Emergency Center's demo video for The Stoop.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

Digital art is not just a fun, interactive method of seeing the world through a new lens — it can also be used to impact change in a local community.

This Friday, young people at the nonprofit People’s Emergency Center (PEC) will unveil a virtual experience of a drop-in center for youth experiencing housing insecurity they created in collaboration with a local media artist, María Alarcón.

Young people participating in PEC’s advocacy-focused Youth HEALers Stand Up! program and Youth Service Inc. used free and freemium software programs such as Google Earth StudioSketchUpDaz 3D and Unity to create avatars of themselves leading a tour of an imagined drop-in center, called The Stoop.

After Friday, the final product will be viewable online and eventually be turned into an interactive virtual reality app using the Unity development platform. Catch an early look at the work here:

Alarcón contributed her time via the Neighborhood Time Exchange program, in which artists receive free studio space, supplies and a monthly stipend in exchange for volunteer time on community art projects.

According to Rashni Stanford, a youth housing organizer at PEC, the young people involved have engaged with virtual reality technology prior to this project, and their familiarity with programs such as SketchUp paved the groundwork for projects in development.

From our Partners

“They downloaded objects to fill and decorate their space, as well as [learned about] Oculus technology and ways VR can be used for educational and storytelling purposes,” Stanford said. “Some youth have taken on script writing for the narration of the tour, others took to mapping out a layout and design on paper, others worked on the placement of the avatars in the space and brainstorming which sounds would be heard in different spaces.”

Why focus on a drop-in center, specifically?

“Drop-in spaces are an essential way to help homeless or housing insecure young people. Why? Because they give them a way to stay off the streets and get inside and be safer. They also provide a place for youth to relax and unwind from the stressors in their lives,” said Trentyn Sanders, 23, a Healers youth organizer. “Young people in our own communities have told us that they need more drop-in spaces in the city with longer hours. Youth Healers Stand Up is fighting to end youth homelessness in Philadelphia and creating more drop-in spaces is one step forward towards their goal.”

The Reach for Community exhibit is being held this Friday, Nov. 8, from 5:30 to 7: 30 p.m. at 4017 Lancaster Ave. as part of PEC’s ongoing Runaway and Homeless Youth Prevention Month event series.

-30-

From our Partners

Tokenism: The State of Youth Leadership in Philadelphia

Designing Our Well-Being

Leading Through Youth Engagement

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Meet Kim Andrews, new executive director for The Fund for Women and Girls

Philadelphia, PA

Fairmount Park Conservancy

Capital Projects Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP)

Director of Development and Communications

Apply Now
Philadelphia

DiverseForce

Managing Directors: Career Pathways & Community Resiliency

Apply Now

Moving Beyond Hope

Empowering Healing and Growth: Create Safe Spaces for Young People

A Generocity update, and our 2023 editorial calendar

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Be the leader to bring a 26-year mission into the future in Chester County

Hybrid (Princeton)

Young Audiences NJ and Eastern PA

Arts Education Administrator (Hybrid)

Apply Now
Philadelphia , PA

Community Legal Services

Communications and Social Media Associate

Apply Now
Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Remote, or Hybrid

Regional Housing Legal Services

Staff Attorney, Housing Development Legal Services

Apply Now
   
       
       

Subscribe to Generocity

       
* indicates required