Should you know your neighbour? Calgary initiative says yes
CALGARY – Do you know your neighbours? It’s the question being asked by the Neighbour Card initiative from the Federation of Calgary Communities.
“When we know each other, when we say: ‘That’s where John lives or Jim Bob lives over there,’ we actually start watching out for them,” said Leslie Evans, the executive director of the Federation of Calgary Communities.
The group is handing out “Neighbour Cards” on which you gather and write the name, address and contact information for up to eight neighbours surrounding your home—just in case you need to reach out if something suspicious happens.
“It adds to the whole sense of community for sure,” said Kelly O’Connor, who lives in the Beltline neighbourhood.
Kaitlyn Menard, who lives in a Beltline neighbourhood condo but is moving to a new neighbourhood, said she hadn’t heard of the Neighbour Card initiative but thinks it’s a good idea.
“Sometimes people are afraid to ask because they don’t know who they are, so it’s a really good step to get the ball rolling,” she said.
The federation represents 150 Calgary community associations, and Evans said many residents support safety programs such as the Neighbour Cards.
“When we talk to them about issues, safety is in the top three,” said Evans. “It’s not because Calgary is unsafe, but they want to create that sense of belonging, that sense of community.”
Last June Calgary celebrated its first “Neighbour Day” to honour the thousands of people who volunteered to help during the province’s devastating floods. This year, the federation wants to hand out thousands of Neighbour Cards to help keep that community spirit going.
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