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    Starting at Your Front Door


The neighbourhood and city we all want starts at your front door. It does not start with laws and policies. It does not start with a complaint. The best neighbourhoods do not begin with demands or government systems. The amazing community you want for yourself and your family begins at your front door. 

There is so much you can do to create an amazing neighbourhood right from your front porch. Saying hello to a neighbour may be a big start, even if it is someone you have seen for years. Welcoming a new family to the community by introducing yourself and learning a little bit about them can bring a deep sense of comfort. Inviting neighbours for coffee or planning for a BBQ might seem like a bold move, but remember that every good relationship began with a simple invitation.

From your front door you can share what you have, whether it is a tool, a restaurant suggestion, fresh veggies or a recipe. From your front door you can plan a block party, gather to talk about issues that matter to you, and you may even decide to create a neighbourhood directory. For gardeners, the front yard is a place of connections. Every summer we meet more neighbours simply by working in our yard than we do any other way.

Studies show that security in a neighbourhood begins in the front yard, too. Communities where people watch out for each other, for children, the vulnerable, the elderly, and property see lower rates of crime, loneliness, as well as mental and physical illness. When we pay attention to each other, our neighbourhoods become better places. 

When we merely pass through our neighbourhood or view it solely through the lens of social media, we miss connecting with each other in meaningful ways. We begin to narrowly focus on what is wrong, not on what is good and strong. Knowing people by name, knowing where they live and a little about how they are doing gives us a personal perspective that changes the way we relate to others. Our neighbourhoods are full of potential and assets that make our community strong. Being hands on helps us see our community for what it really is.

We feel better when we feel like we belong. How you connect and reach out to those in your neighbourhood is a big start towards enjoying your community. The way you relate to your neighbours has the power to change you and your place, and for the better. When your neighbourhood is stronger, everyone wins.

May your front door become an open door, and not a barrier, to your neighbours. May you discover the joy of meeting people in your community by making your front porch the first step in your journey into the neighbourhood.