Hands up if you know about NextDoor! This app, which highlights neighborhood concerns, events, bulletins, and questions, has really been a game changer for me and probably would be for anyone else what or who wants to get a better sense of the neighborhood that they are in.
Because let’s face it, we are all busy. Probably too busy. And because of this we rarely have the luxury of hanging out on the porch and getting to know our neighbors. I personally am guilty of spending too much of my nonexistent free time fortifying my relationship with Netflix, and chilling with my BFF, the air conditioning.
Thanks to NextDoor, my couch potato tendencies haven’t prevented me from actually getting to know what’s going on in my neighborhood. Since it’s quite personal sharing info about where you live, the site is relatively private. It requires proof of your residence in the neighborhood before you get to join. So you know the people you are able to access your information are actually your neighbors. If you want to include other neighborhoods, you can restrict or expand the areas you would like to see your message.
It’s definitely the place to go if you lose a pet, find a pet, want to know what the heck that loud noise was, or crowdsource how to deal with everyday issues in your specific neighborhood. Need to find a great pool service, gardener, drywall repair expert, vet, or pet sitter… Ask on NextDoor. Really the possibilities are endless. How about a block party invite? A few clicks and it’s done.
The Fresno PD routinely posts community outreach, crime bulletins, invitations to law enforcement events, and other useful knowledge on NextDoor. The City of Fresno is reportedly in negotiations to follow their lead, making the site an even more valuable resource for those who want to be in the know.
If you have your own little ghosts or goblins at home, NextDoor even has an interactive trick or treat map where you can see the best places the score Halloween goodies in your area. You can even add your own home to the map. If you opt in, a festive piece of candy corn will represent you on the map. It works the other way too, so you don’t have to rely entirely on turning off your porch light and lurking in the dark to avoid determined treat-seekers.
I spoke with Kathy Gulseth, the NextDoor lead in one of my adjacent neighborhoods, and she had nothing but great things to say about her experience. She mentioned the efficiency of the site in getting information out, dealing with issues, and getting to meet neighbors you ordinarily wouldn’t know. Both our neighborhoods have multiple stories of people looking out for their neighbors and connected by the service.
For example, someone in the neighborhood near me posted that she was missing their German Shepherd, Jessie. She had looked everywhere, and was starting to lose hope that she would ever see her dog again.
Several weeks later, one of my neighbors noticed a dog matching Jesse’s description on a Facebook site. But that dog was living on the side of the road somewhere in Selma- Nowhere near the Northwest Fresno point where Jessie was last seen.
Because of the distance, Jessie’s owner couldn’t believe that that would be her dog, and after being disappointed so many times, wasn’t going to check out the lead. Jessie had been missing for 4 months, it was so far away, she was sure it wasn’t her.
Multiple neighbors chimed in, encouraging her to go look, and even offering to go themselves. And sure enough, when she finally went, it was Jessie, who was thrilled to get back home- thanks to the helpful network of neighbors on NextDoor.
Check in and see what your neighbors are up to! Who knows, you might be surrounded by amazing people, useful local info, and heartwarming stories, without even knowing it.
I was born in Fresno and grew up here, as did my husband and my parents. I'm thrilled to be raising my young son here too! I've gone away for school and spent brief periods in other parts of California, but have always ended up homesick for my hometown.
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