Like many things in life, you get out of your neighborhood what you put into it. In this case, a neighborhood that was experiencing some difficult times (including an increase in crime) decided to band together and work toward a solution. While there are many ways to go about this, the most enjoyable is also the easiest – get to know your neighbors! Go on walks together, paint the street together, grow a garden together, put up a lemonade stand in the front yard. The basic idea being to create a space and community that feels loved and attended to, a neighborhood filled with individuals who clearly are caring, paying attention, and looking out for each other.
Recently my neighbors gathered to repaint our street murals, which were looking a bit faded. The process requires little more than a few cans of paint, but working together to figure out the details is part of the fun! We partnered with Village Building Convergence (VBC) and City Repair Project to facilitate all the logistics, including permits to close the street, advertising to attract volunteers, and we even managed to get discounts on the paint!
Change is achievable. It just takes a little cooperation, commitment and elbow grease. I love that I have such caring neighbors and friends who so readily contribute to the (fun) work of creating community.