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“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Please, Won’t You…

by Tina Wynecoop

Last month a hundred and more neighbors met at Gleneden’s Covenant United Method Church after work to come up with solutions regarding the ongoing and unrelenting issue of transient/homeless camps popping up in our Little Spokane River area with its many neighborhoods. How did the call-to-meeting attract so many attendees? Thanks to it was easy to spread the invitation.

First, let me report that a sheriff deputy, as well as the CEO of Spokane County,and Commissioner Josh Kerns came to this meeting. Although the main concern was not satisfactorily addressed by them and many of us left dissatisfied, the men did get to listen to a lot of impassioned and plaintive requests for solutions – requests from people directly impacted. The attendees could have heard many more than time allowed. (We have had two transient camps next to our easement.) What each neighbor reported left little doubt that the squatters, their camps, and garbage, their bullying, their fires (during fire season), their attacks with weapons, their break-ins…and on and on, are not to be tolerated.

With thanks to Jill who organized the recent meeting, and the website/desktop and phone app, the meeting came together without the usual effort. Utilizing the social network,, has blessed local neighborhoods in ways not thought possible a few years ago. I joined the “North Hatch Developments” neighborhood two years ago. I selected thirteen other close-by neighborhoods and I am able to send and receive messages pertinent to our community (including the Friends of the Little Spokane River organization’s newsletters).

If you are not already a member here is some information I pulled from the Nextdoor website:

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.

Thousands of neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to build better and safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to: • Quickly get the word out about a break-in • Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group • Track down a trustworthy babysitter • Find out who does the best paint job in town • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog • Find a new home for an outgrown bike

Nextdoor’s mission is to provide a trusted platform where subscribers can ask for and receive recommendations; learn what is for sale/free; find out about upcoming local events/meetings; receive crime and safety reports; post lost and found items/pets; general information; and documents; and photos can be attached.

– The manifesto –

We are for neighbors For neighborhood barbecues. For multi- family garage sales. For trick-or-treating We’re for slowing down, children at play. We’re for sharing a common hedge and an awesome babysitter. We’re for neighborhood watch. Emergency response. And for just keeping an eye out for a lost cat. We believe waving hello to the new neighbor says, “Welcome” better than any doormat. We believe technology is a powerful tool for making neighborhoods stronger, safer places to call home. We’re all about online chats that lead to more clothesline chats. We believe fences are sometimes necessary, but online privacy is always necessary. We believe strong neighborhoods not only improve our property value, they improve each one of our lives. We believe that amazing things can happen by just talking with the people next door. We are Nextdoor. We are simply you and your neighbors, together.

– Privacy – Fences are sometimes necessary. But online privacy is always necessary. Nextdoor makes it safe to share online the kinds of things you’d be okay sharing with your neighbors in person.

Here’s how:

Every neighbor must verify their address. Each neighbor signs in with their real name. Just like in person. You choose where your information is shared. Your website is securely encrypted using the HTTPS Internet protocol. Nextdoor never shares your personal information with third-party advertisers [there are a few advertisements though- TW].

So, my neighbors – Welcome to the neighborhood!

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