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Modesto: A City of Great Neighbors 

What comes to your mind when you think of a healthy neighborhood? Usually, what comes to mind is connectedness, kindness, thriving local businesses, and a feeling of safety and well-being.

The diminished economy has us re-examining what gives us our sense of safety and belonging. Families have less time to spend together, parents are working longer hours, everyone is on a tight schedule, and time to personally replenish is short. In the rush of life, we have forgotten to make relational connections not only at home, but also at work.

From this feeling of disconnect, there is a growing longing for more connectedness with people around us. It is being brought back by the simple act of what is being called “neighboring.” It is relearning what being a good neighbor means.

A general definition of a “neighbor” is one who lives close, one’s fellow human being, and a person who shows kindliness.

Now how does this relate to safety? Safety is the condition of being protected from danger or risk, or something designed to prevent injury or damage.

You put a neighbor together with safety, and you get a neighborhood with a feeling of closeness and protection. Today, a neighborhood business can amplify this sense of community, safety, and connection for those neighbors living close to them. A good business is also a good neighbor. All of this together creates a thriving, vital sense of community.

Local residents and businesses have an increasing sense of personal responsibility that everyone is responsible for the health and well-being of our neighborhoods. A growing group of citizens are working to support and accelerate this movement where neighbors know each other.

A nonprofit called Modesto Neighborhoods, Inc. was formed to assist and encourage neighbors (businesses included) to:

  • Intentionally get to know each other,
  • Enhance neighborhood safety through mutual support,
  • Develop a feeling of connectedness,
  • Address their neighborhoods specificneeds and interests,
  • Strengthen the assets that are in their neighborhoods,
  • Beautify their surroundings,
  • Nurture a family-friendly atmosphere, and,
  • Develop a sense of self-worth in themselves

and their neighborhood through shared goals and interests.

We help neighbors connect with each other and work alongside Modesto’s diverse neighborhoods to help them meet their goals.

The mission of Modesto Neighborhoods, Inc., is “Making Modesto Better One Neighborhood at a Time.”

The vision of the non-profit is to Promote, Empower, Assist, Connect and Equip (P.E.A.C.E.) Modesto’s neighborhoods and to be what Modesto is, A City of Great Neighbors.

What this means is to:

Promote/Advocate to law enforcement, government officials, neighbors, non-governmental organizations, residents of Modesto, schools, churches, and businesses.

Empower (to draw out the gifts, abilities, talents and assets of neighbors and neighborhoods) through leadership, trainings, encouragement, mentoring, supporting, cross-learning, and materials.

Assist neighborhoods in meeting their goals.

Connect with other neighborhoods, groups, and resources.

Equip neighborhoods with the tools needed to be successful, i.e., working with volunteers, use of media running meetings, developing events and gatherings, a guidebook to help organize a neighborhood group, developing youth leadership and service, working cooperatively, delegating, and providing information to bring together interested neighbors, and to help make the activities sustainable.

We have found that by working in collaborative partnerships with the Modesto Police Department, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Modesto Fire Department, city and county officials and staff, and other like-minded community groups, it builds trust.

We share the knowledge amongst us of what works for our community and what does not work. We share our skills with each other. We know each other. No matter if you are an individual, a business owner, an elected official, or a volunteer, we are the ones who make each other feel safe by our actions towards each other, and the many ways we look out for one another.

Conversations citywide are going on about a new approach of working collaboratively together. Why duplicate services or skills, when organizations, businesses, and individuals can share these resources with each other?

It is time to revisit and look again, to recognize and see what is not working, and then to focus on new ideas and insights that may not have been considered before. It is this creative process that can help our city and neighborhoods feel safer. By understanding what we are facing, we can then make the change to “Making Modesto Better, One Neighborhood at a Time.”

Think about how you can do something every day to create a safer, supportive place to live. It can be a simple smile, helping someone, taking some personal time to reflect and relax, or envisioning how you want to see your neighborhood. Take one action every day. You will be a part of making the change for the better.

For more information on Modesto Neighborhoods, Inc.,

visit www.modestoneighborhoods.com or

e-mail modestoneighborhoods@gmail.com.

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