“All will concede that in order to have good neighbors, we must be good neighbors.” Harry S. Truman
We all like some amount of privacy, but connections are also important. There are many benefits to knowing who is living around us (neighbors) and what is happening in the neighborhood we live in. There are apps for that, and here are some of the most popular and helpful.
Nextdoor was an early entry, launching in 2011, and now reaches 240,000 neighborhoods in 10 countries. It can be used to buy and sell items, alert the neighborhood to a lost or found pet and prevent ‘porch piracy’. It is a free app that provides a safe and verified platform for neighbors to exchange information about events, concerns, recommendations and many other services. To join you must submit information to confirm your address within a specific area. Once you are approved you can begin interacting with your neighbors.
ioby has a different structure. It is a crowdfunding platform to promote joint neighborhood events and support community leaders. Community events such as a garden, painting a community building or community project fundraising through bake sales or other events, are shared on the ioby platform to enlist supporters and contributors. The ioby platform assists with budgets and other support services to assist in reaching goals.
Freecycle is an international platform for reusing and re-purposing items you’d like to get rid of. It has 5319 groups and over 9 million members around the world. The app is free and the organization is grassroots and nonprofit. Their goal is to keep ‘stuff’ out of our landfills. Select your area and begin cleaning out your unused and unwanted items.
Lotsa Helping Hands is designed to organize a ‘care team’ for a someone in need. You create your own community – geographic, family and friends, or around another shared connection. You can organize meals, coordinate rides, visits and other help for friends and family. Post requests for help and Lotsa will send reminders to those who have signed up.
Mycoop was launched in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy to help neighbors keep in touch with one another. Since then Mycoop helps buildings around the world helping residents meet each other, plan projects and stay connected. Residents, managers and owners all stay connected. Mycoop concentrates on apartment dwellers in multi-unit buildings.
Patch is a U.S. local news and information platform. It has a thousand locations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It is a community-focused news and information network.
These sites all offer opportunities for neighbors in a community to exchange information and ideas. In contrast, Meetup or Craig’s List connects individuals. One website advises that if your neighborhood is already using a community building site effectively – stick with it. This list is most useful if you have moved to a neighborhood that has no communication platform or is unhappy with what they are using.
Here are a few more ideas and resources for building community.