About our Project
Have you heard about Common Grounds? It’s a Taos Teen Co-Op and Café!
We’re a Co-Op because we’re teens (age 13-19) and adult allies cooperating with each other and with Sponsors to help pull it off. Our teen group comes from different schools in the area: Taos Academy, Taos High, Taos Middle, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps & even some from UNM.
We’re a Café because we plan to have a menu and be open to the public for lite coffee shop style breakfast and lunch items. Then in the afternoon and evenings, we’ll have a “menu of activities” for teens. Things like poetry slams, game rooms, snacks, study areas, music or a meditation room, and teen art as decorations and for sale.
We know we have friends and peers in Taos who are homeless or sofa surfers at times. We are planning for the ability to do laundry and have a shower available. We want a give & take closet and a mini food pantry to help. (We know that St. James’ Food Pantry currently sends home backpacks of food each weekend with about 20 teens from at least three area schools.)
We are a public/private partnership. Our sponsors are St. James Episcopal Church, Kit Carson Electric Co-Op, and Taos Academy Charter School.
- Kit Carson is donating the building: the old Children’s Clinic on Cruz Alta.
- Taos Academy is letting High Schoolers get elective credit to help get it going.
- St. James is providing the coordination, insurance and utilities. A church may be helping, but we’re not “churchy” – we’re Ecumenical and Secular …. That means everybody is welcome.
We need help getting the building ADA compliant (American Disability Act), and making sure we meet building codes in order to open. What we need are things like ADA ramp and bathroom accessibility brought up to code, upgrading fire exits and escape route labeling, and proper out swinging doors. We’ve got contractor friends and parents willing to put in elbow grease to help with the labor, and some materials donated. We even a have a retired architect helping out with the planning: a Disney Imagineer!