CLEVELAND - NewsChannel 5's project, Building Better Neighborhoods: Keeping You Safe Where You Live, involves 5 cities from 5 counties that surround Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, and Summit.
It's a 5 On Your Side project that enables folks to get involved in their community, right on the street where they live.
We've teamed up with each city, town, village or township and their police departments with the goal of getting residents together to learn how to help be the eyes and ears of their police department while at the same time getting to know their neighbors.
The cities partnering with NewsChannel 5 include Parma, Bay Village, Chagrin Falls, Maple Heights, Cleveland Heights, Avon, Oberlin, Columbia Township, LaGrange, Elyria, Painesville, Mentor-On-The-Lake, Wickliffe, Eastlake, Madison, Peninsula, Stow, Barberton,Copley, Macedonia, Brunswick, Lodi, Spencer, Montville Township and Wadsworth.
This is about bringing back a sense of community where you live, by looking out for each other and helping each other. So as part of this project, we've teamed up with with the app called Nextdoor . It's a private social network just for your neighborhood.
"It's free and it's private, meaning you have to verify you live in the neighborhood even to be allowed to see any of the conversations or to participate. It's also a mobile app," said Jeremy Taylor, field organizer for Nextdoor.
Nextdoor is on the web and on iPhone and Android devices. It was launched nationwide over two years ago and allows neighbors to communicate with each other to build stronger, safer neighborhoods.
"What we found is the closest people to you, your neighbors, are actually the ones that can help you immediately in a time of crisis, so that's important because a strong community has been proven to raise test scores, proven to raise public health and it's proven to raise security in a community," said Taylor.
The app is also used to organize events, report suspicious activity, ask for help or ask for recommendations.
"People love it. Every neighborhood is unique about their wants and needs and comments and concerns. You know, who does the best hair, is there a good roofer in town who you may have used and I can ask my neighbors who they've used as a good plumber, things of that nature," said Taylor.
Building Better Neighborhoods: Keeping You Safe Where You Live starts March 24. Look for NewsChannel 5 anchors to visit each city, town, village or township to highlight what each has to offer its residents and visitors.
Danita Harris, Leon Bibb, Lee Jordan, Chris Flanagan and Tracy Carloss will be out in one of our featured 25 communities in 25 days. At that time, they will identify 5 streets or neighborhoods in each and residents will have the opportunity to vote on one of those through newsnet5.com to become the Building Better Neighborhood featured street.