In the days of yore (aka the days before the internet) whenever you moved to a new town, you would stop by the chamber of commerce to acquaint yourself with your new community and the local businesses. While the same kinds of community organizations like the local library, PTA or the neighborhood watch still exist, increasingly these types of groups are moving online. Now that everything is online, how can you connect with your new community? You just have to know where to look to find them.
Facebook is a goldmine when it comes to finding neighborhood organizations. Facebook groups can be closed or open. If a group is closed, you may have to ask to join. Type in the name of your new neighborhood or community in the Facebook search bar and see what appears. You will want to look for groups that have a large list of members. If a group only has a few members, that is a signal that it may not be an active or widely used group. Local Facebook groups run the gamut from garage sell/ swap groups to general community groups to neighborhood watch and safety groups.
General community groups are a great place to see what local events are occurring or a great space to ask for recommendations for dog sitters, baby sitters, repairmen, etc. Safety focused community awareness groups will help keep you updated on crime in your area. You may see people posting about suspicious door-to-door salesmen, traffic due to a wreck in your neighborhood or posting links to relevant news stories. The garage sell groups are useful for helping to declutter your new home or finding some hand-me-downs for your growing kids. Active groups are the best, but too many updates and posts might overwhelm your newsfeed. Feel free to leave a group if it doesn’t meet your needs or match your interests.
Nextdoor is another wonderful resource that is hyper-localized. In order to join nextdoor.com you must verify your address, this way you know you are connecting with your neighbors. The main purpose of nextdoor.com is safety. Neighbors can warn others of a break-in or organize a community watch. However, people also use nextdoor.com to look for babysitters, lost pets or sell items. This site is an alternative for those you may not want to use Facebook.
Don’t forget to check out the website of your new city or town. If you aren’t sure what day of the week to set out your trash for pick-up, you could watch your neighbors all week to see what day they set out, or you could check online! Keep your fingers crossed that your municipal website is easy to use and kept up to date. Ideally the local website for your neighborhood will be a wealth of knowledge including info about trash and recycling pick-up to contact information for your local law enforcement.
However you end up connecting your new community, don’t forget to look online!