On Saturday our group started our first day of canvassing. Walking through the neighborhood and talking to different folks from the city, even for a brief period of time, gave me an idea of what people valued in their neighborhood and what could be improved.
It was interesting to see such diversity amongst the people living in the area. The uniqueness of structure, color and size of the houses in the Lents area was awesome to see. There was a certain character to the neighborhood and I enjoyed getting familiar with the streets and businesses. Many houses had beautiful lawns with colorful plants and flowers. We also encountered a lot of dogs and cats along the way.
In our survey that we would like the residents to take, we ask questions to find out about how they feel about their community. We asked what they like, what they don’t like, and what they would want to change in their community. We also asked how they personally contribute to the well being of their neighborhood.
One woman said what she liked about the neighborhood was how quiet it was, but she also said there were some houses in the neighborhood that had been abandoned with their front yards not kept up. She said she did not know most of her neighbors and she would like to see more community involvement.
One young man commented on how he liked the park nearby and the gardens around the city. He said he contributes to the community by sharing his thoughts and feelings at a weekly open mic night down the street from his house as well as simply saying “hi” to people while walking around town. Some changes he said he would want to see were more activities/recreation for kids and less crime.
What’s exciting about what we do is the fact that we get to encounter many people who live in this city face-to-face. Going door to door is an exciting experience for me because I enjoy observing different people’s personalities and lifestyles. It’s fun to listen to different peoples views on the same city.
It’s encouraging to talk to people who go into detail about what changes they want to see happen, it also gives us a better of idea of what we can do to help and meet the needs of the people.