A neighbourhood isn’t just a few blocks surrounding your home; it’s the people that inhabit it. By knowing and working with your neighbours, you can grain a greater sense of community and strengthen your sense of well-being and security all at the same time!
If you’ve lived in one place long enough, or if you’re thinking about moving into a new area that you don’t know much about, speaking to the community association or other local groups that have the common goal of creating a bond between residents and helping improve the area overall. These groups can help to reduce or eliminate issues faced by your neighbourhood and can help improve it for everyone that lives there, visits the area or may be thinking about buying in it.
Two simple, cost-effective ways for you to participate in improvement of your neighbourhood:
Start a block watch program
A block watch program is invaluable to a community. It can provide a greater sense of security for everyone involved, and offer an opportunity to form friendships with neighbours who share your concerns. To get started, contact you local police department. It can provide advice for forming a block watch. Your program can be as large or as small as you choose. This program can range from simply keeping an eye on your neighbours’ homes, or involve regular meetings and newsletters. Recruit members by talking to friends and neighbours, asking parents at local schools and even going door-to-door. For a meeting place, ask your local library or community centre about renting a room.
Forming a block watch does require some time, work and commitment but the benefits for your community are well worth it.
Join a neighbourhood committee
The benefit of a committee is that together you have a unified voice that’s harder for local government to ignore and easier for an entire community to hear.
A committee may act on any number of issues. It can petition for a much-needed crosswalk to a stop sign in the area, organize a volunteer group to remove graffiti, or help restore a park to make it more welcoming to parents and children. A neighbourhood committee can raise funds for neighbourhood improvements, petition local government and more to achieve a community’s goals.
Above all, by encouraging participation from all members of the community, a neighbourhood committee can provide a sense of belonging for everyone.
We’ll be back next week with some strategies to maximize good neighbourhood behaviour.
Helping you get the most out of your home ownership experience,
James C. Tworek and the Trimor team!