A Participant Informed Peer-Run Cooperative Membership Model
As evident in our logo and recurrent themes of community, we believe that people are relational beings.  People have a need to be needed and when people have a stake in something, they will be proactive towards a common outcome and get more out of the experience. We meet individuals where they are at, and in turn they are given the opportunity to contribute to the productivity of The Space and its programs. We strive for a fusion of the neighborhood and for the creation of a true community of neighbors, businesses, organizations, service providers, partners and family in the East Village. Because we believe in active mutual contribution rather than hand-outs, our membership is partially influenced by the definition of communes: The Space attempts to reduce hierarchy and hierarchical structures, promotes equality between individuals, and strives for low ecological footprints through sharing and saving resources. The Space works to harness the abilities of the transient community primarily through social networking, both virtually and on the streets of the East Village.

Our Future Facility and Goals

The Space will provide the following to Members:

  • Mailboxes, to provide a permanent mailing address;
  • Cubby holes, to store gear, luggage, supplies, etc.;
  • A repair center, with access to sewing equipment, bike repair tools, and other materials to renew property;
  • Laundry facilities;
  • Bathing facilities;
  • Computer and internet access to connect with home and to create resumes;
  • Resume-building experience and references;
  • Animal care, for pet supervision when Members have obligations, for job-skill training, and for animal therapy;
  • A common space to host cultural enrichment events including art shows, musical performances, and the exchange of voices and ideas

We believe that we all have different sets of know-how and The Space works to harness individuals’ skills, talents and abilities and to provide members with an environment to embark on projects they might not have the opportunity to explore. By allowing members to teach workshops on what they know, individuals build relationships that foster trust and mutual sustainability through shared experience. All programs are founded in the belief of mutual aid.

Future Programs:

  • Cost-effective nutrition and cooking workshops;
  • Bike repair;
  • Outdoor survival skills;
  • Creative writing;
  • “Feral cats for feral kids,” a program based in animal therapy theory;
  • Peer mediation via Skype for the purpose of enabling Members to reconnect with home through discussion-based interventions;
  • Assistance on how to write resumes, apply for jobs and practice for interviews.
  • Self-defense;
  • Yoga;
  • Animal care and animal therapy

The Space at Tompkins works with the East Village community as a whole, linking neighbors, community members, organizations, service providers, law enforcement, and businesses, to close the gaps that exist in the continuum of support for the transient community. We ensure that all participating agencies are culturally competent and confident about their understanding of our members’ needs. Through our partnerships, we offer holistic health services and practical strategies for safer use based on the harm reduction method. On site, we will offer information on the prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and other community health issues, and we will provide referrals when needed.