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The Hideout: A Social Space for Teens Open Access

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Have you ever noticed teens huddled at a local mall, loitering by the convenience stores, congregated on busy streets, or just looking out of place? This is a typical scenario of many teens who want to socialize with no place to go in cities across the United States. With billions of dollars spent on commercial and community development, most of it caters to either children ages 0-12 or adults over the age of 21. Because teenagers, like children, do not have a voice in the community, little to no emphasis is given to the development of spaces for them. This study analyzed the behaviors and conducted a needs assessment of teens through focus groups and observation, and created a space in the Seventh Street corridor of Washington, DC. The new space aims to foster positive social interactions that will allow teens to congregate and participate in activities within a safe environment that focuses on their developmental needs. The information gathered will prove that by creating a social space for this age group, teens will develop their confidence and social skills, while reducing loitering and disorderly conduct in many cities.

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