In A Nutshell

As an ambitious 25 year old still figuring out parenting and my roll in the adult life I'm determined to get the most out of myself. Right now my main personal values are Challenge, Curiosity, Self-respect, and Belonging.

Every person has an inner voice telling them what they need, it says "wake up now" in the morning it says "don't eat that" when we're full. Growing up means learning that nobody can be that voice for you. You have to learn to hear it, and find the strength to listen over every other voice calling for your attention and telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

I Dream Of Thriving Neighborhood, 5 Ideas To Shake Things Up A Bit

Whats behind the door? Every person is like a treasure trove of precious resources, as long as they remain isolated and absorbed in grief and consumed by their troubles those precious contributions remain locked away. Ironically healing does not come from being consumed by your trouble, be it depression, loneliness, insecurity, it comes by redirecting the mind from unhealthy thought patterns and replacing them with gratitude, appreciation, and goodwill.

There has to be a better way to connect individuals overwhelmed by social, mental, physical strains to the resources they need to flourish. My brain is always clicking, clickety clack, and the same theme keeps coming up, community. Get people connected. There are so many groups and initiatives bettering peoples lives. Finding both people to utilize the resources and people to make resources available, and discovering that the same person may be responsible for both, as they're supported, being able to give back.

What can you do to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood from your own home as the presence you occupy on this earth?

Here are a couple recent ideas:

City Social Networking Structure

When you enter Facebook and start selecting friends, the website automatically suggests possible friend interests, when your on a website at the bottom of the post there's a prompt "you may also be interested in" essentially, the idea behind city social networking is that there are neighborhood coordinators responsible for networking individuals based on interests and proposing friendships.

They would present a questionnaire to people in their neighborhood and connect people with similar interests, not virtually connect them with an online relationship, but with someone down the street from them. They would also suggest resources and groups operating in the area. It would be an event and friend finding service tailored to each unique neighborhood.

Every isolated life is like a closed door in the vast empty hallway of a community. How quite is your hallway?

Neighborhood Welcome House / Information Center

Have volunteers who open their home as neighborhood welcome houses and information centers, Who are part of a group that is staying current with local events, they can be set up with house improvement grants and grants for outdoor playgrounds and kids toys (many cities already have "beautification" grant money for home improvements in their budget but there is a qualification process) for neighborhood families to meet and bring their kids. The focus is on bringing families together out of isolation and out of goodwill and kind hearts. have training courses for the volunteers to learn basic counselling skills.

They would live in their home in the neighborhood they work with and get to know the people around, come up with ideas for everyone to do together, like block parties, ice skating, bake exchange, picnics, and art programs and have regular times throughout the week when they host guests on an appointment and drop in basis. While the neighborhood coordinator goes out, the welcome house is available as a connecting point.

Neighborhood Coordinator

These are people who would have a full time job getting out the door and talking to people in their designated area, each "area" would be responsible for about 1000 households, meaning every day of the year they would need to visit 2 households a day to visit them all in a year. They would be responsible to know the social events, community groups, local initiatives, and helpful resources. Essentially they collect information on what families are hoping for, what they can offer, ideas they may have to make it a better place, and connects them with friends in the area that may have similar intersets.

They would put together an information package and go door to door asking  people about what they want out of their city and what they would like to see done here, then connect them to resources that could be helpful to them.

First step: find resources in town

Second step: talk to people door to door and connect them to the resources and making a contact list so if a group of interest comes up they could be called and informed.

The Neighborhood Questionnaire

There would be questions along these lines:
  • What they're looking for from their neighborhood and what they would like to get from living where they are.
  • Do they have any ideas to try to make the neighborhood a good place to live.
  • What would they be interested in getting involved in, with a list of some of the local events and groups
  • What cause or mission would they get behind and support?
  • There would be an ideas sheet left to hang on their fridge with a map of their neighborhood and a contact number to call

Switch Chat

This is an event I'm pretty excited about designing, more on it another time, essentially it's a concept that can be used with any social setting to stimulate relationship building and connections.
There would be an online interactive map with information about everything going on it town.
three doors image credit Salvatore Vuano - freedigitalphotos.net

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