Initiative 5 – Neighborhood/Community Strengthening

The neighborhood is a cornerstone of our community.

Shared friendship doubles our joy and halves our sorrows.  -Swedish Proverb

In neighborhoods without a usable park or playground, the incidence of childhood obesity increases by 29 percent.  -Darell Hammond

Envisioned Goal:  Trinity seeks partners that can implement programs that will measurably strengthen neighborhoods in our community.  Health begins at home and our neighborhoods are the first network outside the home. By positively and significantly impacting neighborhood interaction, isolation that can lead to addiction could be reduced.  We seek creative proposals drawn from experience, other cities or innovative ideas that will measurably support and encourage healthy neighborhood networking.   The goal is to actively connect people to the folks that live in close proximity from their family to the families down the street.

Background: In a revealing sociological study, a large percentage of Americans report having shrinking networks and fewer relationships.  Nearly fifty percent of our population report feelings of loneliness, isolation and lack of interaction with others as noted in Robert Putnam’s book, Bowling Alone.   Trinity seeks proposals that will encourage relationships to be grown in community (define community in the broadest sense that meets your organizations expertise – family, church, neighborhood, etc.).  How do we connect people to people?  This may be the greatest anecdote to addiction – healthy relationships.  Ideas from green space enhancement to community clubs for neighborhood purposeful interaction to community school family interaction to church neighborhood outreach are examples of the general areas that would be of interest under this initiative.

Examples of Specific Initiatives:

  1. Neighborhood Crossfit: Proposed projects for the development of activities that get people out of their homes and interacting face to face on a regular basis would be valuable to our community as well as individual health – a twofer!
  2. Clearinghouse for Community Activities/Support Groups: Innovative ways to connect people to activities and support groups are sought (citywide neighborhood online bulletin boards, local networking of special interest groups, alternatives like Neighborhood Watch for other group purposes, etc.).  Projects that encourage neighbors to interact face-to-face are sought.
  3. Neighborhood Green Space:  Proposed projects to improve neighborhood parks and greenways as a way to create inviting spaces for people to interact and be active.  Creative conversions of infrequently used neighborhood assets (aging tennis courts, vacant fields, etc.) into actively filled new venues (pickleball, Frisbee golf, etc.).
  4. Neighborhood Prayer Initiative: Proposed projects that create and systematically expand neighborhood prayer networks to get neighbors in contact would bring value to our community.
  5. Other ideas related to strengthening the neighborhood:  Neighbors are isolated.  The relationship process begins with knowing each other. We seek projects that have shown promise in other locations to reinvigorate neighborhood relationships from the smallest unit (the family) to the largest region (the city).  The revitalization of Market Square is a great success story and example for other parts of our community.