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Ten ways to immediately improve your neighborhood

Updated: Feb 29, 2020

Source: City of Pueblo. Colorado -

1) Report crime as soon as possible. Whether the issue is graffiti, petty vandalism or something much more serious, police cannot act without first hearing about the problem from you. Calling won't guarantee that police can fix the problem, but failing to call can guarantee that they won't. Don't assume someone else has already called, make the call yourself. For Emergencies call 911.

2) Report nuisances and other noncriminal problems promptly. Examples of these items are junked cars on lawns and in the street, old mattresses left to rot in the backyard, broken furniture on porches, garbage piling up. When you find yourself thinking, "Someone ought to do something about that"-do something. Call code enforcement, landlords, residents, local business owners, or any other person or agency that may have influence on the issue. Then call your neighbors and ask those who are also concerned to report the issue as well. Report crime to the Police Department.

3) Take away the opportunity for crime. Think about your home, your car and even your lifestyle and ask what you could change to take away the opportunity for crime. Lock your car and never leave valuables, even for a few minutes in the car. Trim bushes or trees on your property that offer too-convenient hiding places. Also, trim where trees and bushes block clear view of your front door, or make it difficult for a person to see out the windows of your home. Make your front porch visible and make sure your home looks like it has eyes on the neighborhood.

4) Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Make a list of names and phone numbers of every neighbor on your block. Set a goal of at least 10 neighbor contacts. Each citizen is responsible for their own neighborhood. Any citizen who has turned around a problem block is a citizen who really knows the people who live there. Did you grow up in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other? That is rare today. Neighborhoods have changed, but realize that you can fix it. It makes a huge difference to know your neighbors and be able to talk to them.

5) Know the names of neighborhood kids and their friends. This can make a profound difference should there be a need for adults and young people to talk to each other in cases of emergency. It is difficult to help form a safe and supportive community for children without the adults and children knowing each other. Even those without children should know to whom the various children in the neighborhood belong. Every adult will be better able to help in an emergency and will be better prepared to discuss problems if they arise.

6) Make a list of landlords in your area. As owners of property in the community, landlords are responsible to the neighborhood and should be concerned with the health of that neighborhood. You can easily find out the name and address of the owner of the property by contacting your county assessor's office, using the online property search tool.

7) Walk around the block. It sounds simple, but it is a great way to meet neighbors, and get to know your neighborhood while getting a little exercise. Walk at night if you are comfortable doing so, and if not, your neighborhood needs more involvement. Chat with neighbors and kids while walking, they will get to know you too.

8) Drive slowly through your neighborhood. Stop signs, lights and speed bumps can slow traffic down, but so can you. By regularly driving slowly on neighborhood side streets, you encourage those in a hurry to find another rout rather than getting stuck behind a slow poke.

9) Pick up litter near your home. Even if you didn't put it there. Most people are less likely to litter where they don't see litter already. You can help stop littering in your neighborhood by taking away the litter that attracts it. Pet owners should make sure they pick up after their pets.

10) Organize a neighborhood watch group or some other type of neighborhood organization. If you are willing, decide what greater contribution you could make. Attend meetings if there is already an association. Keep informed of neighborhood issues. This is a great way to meet other neighbors who are also concerned. Even an evening walking group can help.

Don't stop at 10 tasks. There are many more things you can do to make your neighborhood healthy, safe and clean.

Turn on porch light at night.

Spend time in your front yard.

Stay in one place-long term residents create stability.

Offer assistance to a neighbor in need-offer help with yard work.

Ask neighborhood kids for help if you need it-they are always happy to earn a few dollars.

Be the kind of neighbor you would want to have

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