How to Build a Community in Your Neighborhood

For many of us, the idea of a neighborhood means a group of people who are all nice to each other, socializing and looking out for others when they need help. Unfortunately, too many of us have gotten so cut off from the outside world that we barely even know or acknowledge our neighbors.

Too often, we refer to them by descriptors because we haven’t learned their names—phrases like “the young couple down the street with two kids” or “the retired man with the dog that barks all night.” Many of us want that sense of community that comes with being in a close-knit neighborhood, but we don’t know how to do this.

Well, here’s how you can build a community in your neighborhood:

  1. Sit in your front yard — We often try to seclude ourselves by either staying inside or sitting in our fenced-in backyards. This doesn’t allow us to meet our neighbors naturally. One way to fix this is to simply move the chairs around front. When your kids are playing, take a relaxing chair out to the front yard and watch them. Or, when the sun is about to set, grab a chair and a cold beverage and enjoy the twilight. If you do this, others will start to join in and you can begin to communicate more openly with them.


  1. Organize a block party — If you plan a block party or cookout, you can get everyone together and socializing so that you can meet all of your neighbors. When you invite them, be sure to go up to each one personally instead of just posting fliers or mailers. This shows you legitimately want to get to know them. But it also allows you a chance to learn their names and talk to them even if they can’t make the party.


  1. Create a community library or garden — Activities such as reading and gardening are great ways to bond with others. Put a wooden lending library box in your yard by the curb along with a sign encouraging others to take one and return it when finished. You can also encourage others to add their own books to the bin. Also, talk with your neighbors to see if they would like to help put together a community garden of flowers or vegetables to liven up the area.


  1. Create a social media group — Even if you can’t all meet after work or on the weekends, you can still create a sense of community with social media. Start a Facebook group for your neighborhood that can share announcements and neighborhood news. Encourage people with concerns to express these through private messages instead of blasting the entire board. But keep the avenues of communication as open as possible.

There is a big difference between being part of a neighborhood and part of a community. If you hearken back to the days when people were nice to their neighbors and took pride in their community, then these are some ways you can foster these feelings on your block.



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