Humans of Minneapolis: Vanelia & Versace, Farview Park

June 2, 2016 by Janette Law

In 2016, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation teamed up with Humans of Minneapolis street documentarian Stephanie Glaros to produce a series of 15 portraits of visitors to Minneapolis neighborhood parks.

Minneapolis is blanketed with 160 neighborhood parks – distinct from regional parks, which are much larger – each with everyday amenities for all ages, like ball fields, playgrounds, wading pools, tennis and basketball courts and, in many cases, a recreation or community center. Nearly every Minneapolis resident is within walking distance of a park, one reason why neighborhood parks get more than six million visits a year.

Here, we’re re-posting Stephanie’s series of portraits of parks visitors from her Humans of Minneapolis blog. Look for all portraits in the series on this blog – 2016 and, coming soon, 2017 – by clicking on the Humans of Minneapolis category.

Vanelia & Versace, at Farview Park

“I bring my grandchildren over here to play. It’s close to the house. I can walk them over here and just let them swim and have a good time. I like the community setting, it’s really geared towards families.

I try to find young women who need a mentor or role model, and then be that. I babysit for mothers whose babies are sick and can’t go to daycare. If they’re short on rent, sometimes I’ll help them with that. I do this out of my own pocket because I have love for them.

A lot of them have come through the foster care system and have nobody to love them. So I try to show them family, and this type of gathering is one of the ways that I do that. Some I’ve lost along the way, but there’s others who will make it. I do it for the ones who are gonna make it.”

Listen to Vanelia’s story:

Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.

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