Why has Windsor Rotary Club started Neighborhood Connect?
With our more mobile and diverse lives street block parties are a great way to meet your neighbors and build community spirit.
Data from the General Social Survey, economist Joe Cortright wrote in a recent City Observatory report that only about 20 percent of Americans spent time regularly with the people living next to them. A third said they’ve never interacted with their neighbors. That’s a significant decline from four decades ago, when a third of Americans hung out with their neighbors at least twice a week, and only a quarter reported no interaction at all.
Knowing your neighbors can help defuse conflicts before they turn ugly. Introducing yourself if you're new to the neighborhood, or welcoming a neighbor who has just moved in, is a good way to establish contact and work to build trust. Trust is the glue that binds people together. It is a rare concept in the social and behavioral sciences in that the evidence for its benefits is overwhelming. Trust is correlated with increased civic participation, decreased corruption, increased resilience to disasters, decreased economic inequality, and decreases in illegal activities. It is also correlated with increased health, happiness, and intelligence. Practically all researchers studying trust have concluded that it improves the human experience
Providing everything from assistance in emergencies, to transportation, to daily social interaction, contact with neighbors was found to provide a boost of well-being. Participants who reported continuously low levels of contact, and participants who experienced losses in contact, were at greater risk for poorer psychological well-being.
The researchers found that people who reported low quantities of neighbor relationships rated themselves worse over time in terms of aspects of well-being concerning feelings of purpose in life, personal growth, autonomy, environmental mastery, self-acceptance, and positive relations with others.
A Rutgers study has found that having continuously low levels of contact with neighbors, or losing contact with them altogether, is associated with declining levels of psychological well-being in middle and later life We all reside on some type of street and whether we live in an apartment, a detached house, or townhome, we all have amazing people we call our neighbors. But when was the last time we got together with them simply to party?
• Meet your neighbors in a fun way and let everyone join in. With more independent lives we don't have many chances to bump into people.
• Build a friendly community, rather than being strangers - you don't have to become friends, just neighbors.
• All ages and backgrounds can relax with less fear of difference.
• For a birthday, June strawberry tea party, Halloween or pre-Christmas and New Year, pancake day, Easter or May Day.
• Just for the fun - it doesn't have to be a Jubilee as it's a great tradition and not just for kids.
Let Windsor Rotary Club help you have a neighborhood block party!