Stephanie Glaros’ Humans of Minneapolis portraits of park-goers remind us of the many powerful ways that parks can connect us, heal us and make us whole. This summer, her 10-image series is exploring how parks transform human life, as told through each person’s own words and Stephanie’s boldly compassionate lens.
Here, we’re reposting Stephanie’s 2017 series. View all images in this year’s series, and in 2016’s, via the Humans of Minneapolis category link
ShaultBody (far right), at Perkins Hill Park
“Every Saturday we bring kids who are eighteen and under up here and show them a good time. We shoot basketball with them and then we barbeque a little food for them just to give them something to do other than being on them streets. My nieces and nephews invited their friends, and then they brought more friends. There’s fifteen out here now, but it’s usually around twenty-five of them and more adults, too. This is the sixth week in a row we’ve been out here in this park and we’ve been having a ball with these kids.
We get a chance to mingle with them, see what they’re really feeling. When they’re mad about something, we’re there to talk to them and they feel comfortable doing that. We’re teaching them not to argue, how to be teammates. Teaching them to be peaceful and take that peace outside of the park. We’re trying to teach the kids to breathe easy. That’s one thing you can do out here in these parks.
It’s not that hard to satisfy kids. We bought hotdog buns and hotdogs and a couple pieces of beef for ribs. That’s it. They’re drinking pop, they’re happy. We spent about twenty dollars at the most. It’s not about the money. It’s about involving yourself with the kids. And these kids have a ball, like they’re at a party.”
Ron Mack (third from left):
“For a few hours, we take the kids away from their parents. They all know about it. They don’t have to worry about them being on the block or something else happening. They know the old-schools got ‘em and they’re over here at the park.
When we see the kids during the week, they say, ‘Are we on for Saturday?’ It gives them something to look forward to, like going to the movies. And we really enjoy it. It’s very fulfilling knowing they want to be around us. I wasn’t gonna miss it for anything in the world. God willing, I’ll be here next week.”
“It’s what you bring to the table to help people. That’s what we’re about. Helping people no matter where you’re from. That’s why parks are very important to us. It’s a safe haven. We don’t have to pay any money here to do what we need to do to help the kids.
It’s a beautiful thing to come to the park. It’s peaceful. The kids are happy.
God bless the parks so we can do what we do.”
Listen to ShaultBody’s story:
Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.