Apartment buildings are ideal locations for rekindling the community spirit which has been fading away from most cities for decades. Hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of people live under the same roof in these "vertical villages" without knowing who their neighbours are. Many are the opportunities and conveniences they may be missing by not knowing who their neighbours are. The suggestions that follow are addressed to the community builders of all nations who see the value of a more cohesive and sustainable society, something very desirable in recessionary times.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are a victim of the recession living in an apartment building complex. Your job search is going nowhere, and you have tried everything you could think of to find work. Could you use your building in your search? Consider the following simple suggestion:
1. You suggest to the landlord that there be a community bulletin board somewhere near the entrance or elevator.
2. You then post your services (e.g. alternative health services, or marketing) on the board. Hopefully your services are general enough that many of the tenants could benefit from them.
3. In the same posting you may want to let people know that you are looking for certain services yourself. This will double your possibility of a response.
4. If someone responds to your posting of services offered and required, phone them, meet them and discuss a transaction.
5. We humans are social animals, we thrive on trade. If, by chance, someone needs your services, and you need one of theirs then you exchange services.
6. If several people contact you in response to your ad, then you have an opportunity to become a community builder for your building complex. That is very valuable.
If you become the community builder of your apartment building complex then consider the following:
1. Create a community room where people can meet, discuss, develop friendships and possibly trade.
2. This community room can have whatever theme you enjoy. It could be a wired office, a mini-library, a fitness room, or an entertainment room (home theater, sound system, chess)
3. By word-of-mouth, your community room will grow in usage and usefulness. Your reputation as community builder will grow, trust begets transactions and you will attract opportunities from even beyond your building. You may eventually be asked to organize rent-parties and prosperity parties!
Is this scenario possible? I believe it is certainly worth a try.
sylvain henry, Sustainable Community Organizer
sylvain.henry @ ymail.com (613) 552-1090
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