Thursday, November 10, 2005

Like A Good Neighbor...

I don't think that I'm the best neighbor. I know the families of 2 of the houses surrounding me pretty well but I'm going to fix that. I need to be a dependable person to those around me. I need to let them know that I'm there if they have an emergency or need assistance with something. I also need them to know that I'm expecting the same in return.

These changes begin this weekend as I'll be typing up a letter to 8 of the homes surrounding me. You see, on Friday night, Neighbor A (whom I don't know as well as I should) was attacked at her home. She's a young woman living by herself and upon driving up to her home, noticed some young boys walking by her house and proceeded to open her garage door. After parking her car inside and hitting the remote to close the door, she proceeded to step out of her car. The garage door stopped closing abruptly. The two boys had stepped into the garage and were pointing guns at her demanding her purse or her life. They ripped the purse so forcefully from her hand that it tore tendons in two fingers. They ran off and hopped into an unplated car parked down the street with two other boys. She was left screaming for help... but no one heard her. All 4 boys were caught after a high-speed chase. The guns were in the car (they had jumped out) but not the purse (gotta get rid of the evidence.) It seems this same thing had happened in the neighborhood before with shots fired that time.

I am not going to let this happen to myself or my neighbors again. I'm not going to create a neighborhood watch. I'm going to create a 'good neighbor contact list.' In wanting to be a better neighbor, I am going to give my cellphone number to each of them. I am hoping to gather numbers for all 8 of these homes so if someone needs emergency help, if someone sees someone suspicious while driving up or if someone leaves their garage door open without a car in it... a neighbor will help. If Neighbor A had a few phone numbers to call that night when she got that weird feeling about the boys outside her home, someone could have walked outside their home to make sure she got in safely. I believe this is a good way to instill trust in your neighbors and create a support system. The other major change that I'll be adopting is I'll be placing motion-sensor lights on the front of my house and that of another neighbor (if anyone else wants one, I'll help install them.) On stage, it is often said that a star is only as good as their supporting cast. I also believe a neighborhood is only as safe as their homeowners communication.

5 comments:

LoraLoo said...

Wow that poor woman. We tend to feel a false sense of security once we hit that garage door, even before it's closed (I do the same thing, I'll not be doing that anymore).

You are a good neighbor, and I'm sure your neighbors will appreciate that. It's a rare thing to find in this transient city.

BeckEye said...

That's a good idea. So scary to think you can be terrorized in your own home.

Teri said...

That is such a great idea. What ever happened to when we were kids and our parents were actually friends with their neighbors. We had the block parties and we actually knew our neighbors. it is sad, other than knowing the names of the people we have lived by for the last 3 years, I really do not know anything about them or have any phone numbers.

Bar Bar A said...

This poor woman! She must be terrified! You're doing the right thing, better late than never.

My question: if she is young and single why haven't you got to know her yet? Sounds like she might be a good friend, or could use one :)

Fred said...

Wow - it really hits home when it's so close to you. When we lived in Virginia, we had 24 houses on the block, and The Missus put together a map with everybody's name, children's name, and phone number.

It worked great - your idea is excellent.