Crisis and the Neighbouring Effect
Seeing all the good will in our city and our neighbourhood is encouraging, heartwarming, and has been fundamental to an ongoing sense of well-being through the COVID-19 crisis. It has been a reminder that when trouble hits, the ability for us as neighbours to contact each other can be among the most valuable assets we have.
The first assets in a crisis are neighbours. In fact, it turns out that your neighbours have everything to do with your well-being in a crisis. Your neighbours and their collective extended connections determine how well and how fast a community will recover.
Often before agencies arrive, there are neighbours. Neighbours check on the well-being of others nearby and provide immediate lifesaving assistance. Following the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns, survivors in Japan indicated that many of the elderly and infirm were saved from the incoming tsunami not by their own actions, but by the assistance of neighbours, friends, and family.
The more connected the neighbourhood is before a crisis hits, the stronger its ability to bounce back. Resilience describes the collective ability of a neighbourhood to deal with stressors and efficiently resume the rhythms of daily life through cooperation following shocks.
As a community league, we want to thank those people who we know are caring for their neighbours. Our “collective ability” depends on ensuring that no one falls through the cracks. As we move through, and past, this frightening and uncertain time, we as a community league want to ensure that every neighbour knows who on their block they would call if they needed help.
In Boyle Street, this means having one person or a group of neighbours on most blocks who might take the responsibility or be the point person to organize their block. If you would like to know who to call on in the event that you may need help please be in touch. If you would like to assist on your block, also be in touch.
Article submitted by the Boyle Street Community League.