SLP Nest, nonprofit for teens, closing due to COVID-19

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It opened as a place for students in St. Louis Park to hang out after school. Two years, later the SLP Nest will become one of the latest businesses to close for good as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were inside two years ago as students prepared their space, expressing themselves through music and art, and eagerly anticipating the grand opening of this student-led nonprofit.

"They’ve all found a place where they can be themselves and express themselves," said one student.

The main mission has been face-to-face interaction, which has turned difficult over the last five months.

"The very heart of our mission was obviously affected deeply by COVID," said board member and treasurer Thom Miller.

It forced the hangout to shut its doors this spring, some employees were let go, and now the tough decision has been made to close permanently.

"It’s heartbreaking, to be honest with you, it’s been an intense project, one that we are very passionate about, to have to close down, it’s been very disappointing," Miller said.

From student artist interviews to tie-dye projects and t-shirt creations, the SLP Nest has offered virtual programming and performances all spring and summer.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the same and didn’t align with the mission, Miller said.

"Frankly, there are a lot of venues out in the world today for students or anybody to express themselves virtually, probably some organizations that can do it far better than we can," Miller said.

He acknowledged the void left behind and said they are trying to do whatever they can to make sure that void is filled in some other way.

Miller said he’s hopeful other youth organizations in the area will step up and help out.

The SLP Nest will close its doors on Aug. 31.