Let’s stop assuming politicians can save us! They talk big, spend our money, and pass laws, but they can’t preserve American culture or values. Only “We the People” can save ourselves.
COVID has taken a devastating toll as drugs, crime, violence, and suicide has dramatically increased. We have seen how important it is for young people to connect to their school friends to develop healthy relationships.
We cannot allow social isolation to continue to destroy our communities. Everyone must understand the importance of neighbors connecting, or crime and violence problems will continue to increase. Youth who commit crimes and mass shootings often identify as loners who lack support. People who kill are angry and disconnected from the community.
Every criminal, drug dealer, trafficker, and mass shooter lives in somebody’s neighborhood.
So, what can we do? Many neighbors may know each other, but many others do not or even trust their neighbors. That must change to stop social isolation that puts children at risk. Our fellow citizens can develop mental health issues when we are not connected.
You have the power to bring people together and create a safe neighborhood!
Overcome your fear and take a stand to make your neighborhood safe for neighbors, especially children. Here is an easy plan to make a difference.
- Ask friends or neighbors to join you in creating an “adopt-a-block” team.
- Put a plan together on how many homes to approach.
- Break the ice with a safety survey. Ask three questions. What is your biggest concern in our neighborhood? Have you been a victim? Will you help? Request permission for contact information.
- Review survey results with your team. Plan a follow-up meeting with neighbors who said, “I will help.”
- Get together with neighbors willing to help and discuss ways to protect each other and children.
- Pick a project! Clean up the neighborhood – Plan a Block Party – Plant a community garden – Create an event for kids – Schedule a safety meeting with the police – Hold a social get-together.
- Let neighbors know you care and are involved in keeping children safe and property values up!
- Enlist the support of local police and city services. They may help you. Get crime prevention information from police and educate neighbors.
- Celebrate success!
- Share what you learned. Talk to your local community representative about an action committee to support families. Spread citywide PEACE!
Citizens must be involved to make their neighborhood safer, which will build trust and help stop the social isolation that makes some people engage in violence against others.
Stephanie L. Mann, Founder, Safe Kids Now
Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Author, “Empowerment Parenting: How to raise resilient children who become happy, self-reliant adults.”