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Good Kits Make Good Neighbors

Terrain.org Staff reviews the Neighborhood Resource Center's Good Neighboring Kit

Good Neighboring Kit, courtesy of the Neighborhood Resource Center of Metropolitan Denver"Think about the block where you live. Chances are that you have at least one friend on your block: the guy who let you use his lawnmower when yours broke down or the woman who kept her eye on your house over the holiday weekend. Developing more of these kinds of relationships on your block may be the best thing you can do to prevent neighborhood tensions or conflicts."

So begins the Neighborhood Resource Center's Good Neighboring Kit, a concise toolkit available free upon request (the NRC ordered 85,000 of them). The kit contains many useful items for urban neighborhood groups, including suggestions for "ice breakers" between current neighbors, welcoming ideas for new neighbors, everyday neighboring ideas, block party basics, success stories, and much more.

For example, there's an exercise for neighbors called "Mapping Your Block." The pre-sketched block with rough outlines of block lots contains plenty of space for neighbors to fill in other neighbors' vital stats, such as family members' names, safe houses with adults who can assist kids when help is needed or an emergency is at hand, important phone numbers, the names of pets, an indicator for those who may need extra assistance in a storm or emergency, and the like. It's a great way to meet or socialize with neighbors, and provides an invaluable list and map, especially in urgent situations.

The kit also contains an application for a block micro-grant for up to $200 (good only for Denver-area neighborhoods, but can be modified for other metro areas), an application for free ice cream for a neighborhood block party, and a "fresh ideas" feedback form. Each application or form is sponsored by local businesses, such as the local electric utility and a grocery store chain.

The Good Neighboring Kit is a product of the Neighborhood Resource Center's Good Neighboring Project. While this specific kit was developed by a Denver-based organization, it is available at no cost to any person or organization interested in strengthening neighborhoods in any locale.

Contact the Neighborhood Resource Center for further information.


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Good Neighboring Kit

Neighborhood Resource Center of Metropolitan Denver

16 Pages, Available for Free at (303) 561-3790





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