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Website Brings Neighbors Together to Improve the Community
DAYTON -- How well do you know your neighbor? Surprisingly, many people do not know the people living next to them.
With demanding schedules we are now turning to the Internet for social interaction; however, taking a few minutes to get to know your neighbors could turn your community around.
This past year the Twin Towers neighborhood has been plagued with violence and drugs. Leslie Sheward is the president of the Twin Towers Neighborhood Association and has been teaming up with neighbors to clean up the area.
"By working with the neighbors and by working with the police we got a drug house ... shut down within a two-week period," said Sheward.
She says the key is neighbors getting to know each other, and by working together they have the upper hand on chasing crime out of the neighborhood.
So, how well do you know your neighbor? Eric Aielli moved into the St. Anne Hills neighborhood three years ago and recently signed up his neighborhood to Nextdoor.com. Within a few months 47 his neighbors signed up as well.
"This has been really great with finding those new people in the neighborhood. It has been difficult in the past to make contact with them because we do have some spottiness in the neighborhood. I'm a little shyer, so I didn't go out and meet my neighbors. Here in St. Anne Hill we have a lot a friendly people," Aielli said.
Even neighboring communities can connect. George Wymer has lived in the Orgeon District for 11 years and recently signed up with Nextdoor. Even on a day when he's alone in the park, he's still a few clicks away from chatting with his neighbors. He says Nextdoor.com could also take on the role of a neighborhood watch.
"There are times you see something suspicious or somebody had flowers stolen off a porch or something. They'll put the message out and everyone will know right away," said Wymer.
Sheward likes the idea of Nextdoor but hasn't joined yet, fearing it could cause more harm to some communities.
"I would sign up, but I would encourage people to make sure that they post fact verses rumor. You can really damage somebody if you start spreading rumors," she said.
However, she also sees the bigger picture of how this website could impact the Dayton area for the better.
"These are city-wide problems and if communities come together and work through it on a citywide basis versus an individual basis I think you accomplish a lot more," said Sheward.
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