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Getting Serious About Safety

When I first moved to my neighborhood back in 1978, we were all barred in our homes like prisoners. There were few light posts, and many overgrown trees provided plenty of darkness where criminals liked to lurk. I knew no one on my block in the beginning. I had visited my great-aunt many times before she died. When she deeded her house to me, I figured it was in my best interest to get to know my neighbors. And the only way to do that is to start knocking on doors.

I also kept calling city agencies to address some of the dangers, like criminals, a woodrat infestation, and the overgrown trees. At first, people didn’t like me. They told me they didn’t want the city all in their business. But over time, my neighbors started to trust me. Because they realized that I was all about safety – my safety, their safety, even the safety of the people who had no business being in my neighborhood.

Friends, especially in these times when family often lives further away, we need our neighbors. If something happens to you, the fastest person who can help is your next-door neighbor. Family cannot help you as fast an alert neighbor, who can call 9-1-1 just as fast as they see you on the ground in pain.

There is safety in being a good neighbor. Try it out!

(This column is the first by Ms. Naomi Brown, CHSA board member and former Neighborhood Coordinator for the City of Savannah. Ms. Brown has extensive community development experience.)

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