The holiday season has begun. We’re probably still finishing our candy, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and stores are already selling decorations for Christmas and Hannukah. We might as well go ahead and get a New Years party hat too, right? The main event at our next meeting, which is also our last monthly meeting of the year, is that we will vote to elect the board members of our Association that were nominated at our October meeting.
We have seen a wonderful increase in participation in neighborhood events this year and also in the way we are communicating with one another and our county officials. We had a lot of visits from them and it helped to encourage the strong relationship that is so necessary if we want to improve this area. Some of the offices that pledged their support to our cause are the Dekalb County Police South Precinct, Code Enforcement, the Fire Department, the Marshall’s office, and the Board of Commissioners. We plan to work with them in 2016 to continue to build on the foundation we have created.
So, what are some of the challenges we’ll face in 2016 and how can we work to solve them? I’ll skip to the answer before listing any of them specifically. We must communicate more and work together on an increasing scale and actively involve our county officials in supporting our mission to improve this are.
- Burglaries & Robberies
Follow basic safety guidelines like lighting the outside of your house, securing your doors and windows, adding cameras, watching out for your neighbors’ homes, and calling 911 anytime you see anything suspicious. We can also work more closely with the police to identify likely suspects
- Unkept or Abandoned Properties
Make sure these homes are known to the Police, Code Enforcement, the Dekalb Vacant Home registry or Foreclosure registry, and the Dekalb Co. Board of Health. Talk with the owners (if possible) to see if they need some kind of help in maintaining their home.
- Speeding through our Streets
Commission a speed study for those streets to see if they qualify for speed humps and if they do, work to get home owners to sign the agreement to have them installed.
- Neighbors in Need
Identify who needs help and what kind. Work to find resources through groups that offer assistance of that kind. Some of these are non-profits that focus on seniors or low income households, churches, county and state government offices, local grants, and us!
- Drugs and Prostitution
Continue to talk with the Police, especially their Drug Task Force and Vice team. Map these homes, report them to the police and monitor their progress. Invite the local news. The same houses and corners have been the problem for more than a decade, sometimes several! Get to know the County Solicitor’s and DA’s offices and their staff. Enroll and participate in the Court Watch program. Host neighborhood sit-ins at these locations and invite the Police to join us!
Help us reach you through volunteering to hand out flyers, passing information on to your neighbors with no internet access, invite friends and neighbors to join our social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor if you see they are not on there. Come to the monthly neighborhood association meetings and socialize with your neighbors. The better we know one another, the more we talk, right?
- Social Events and Community Outreach
Part of building this community involves getting together in a social environment to get to know one another better. Sometimes, we should work to better the neighborhood physically together and others, we should get out and do things like have dinner together or play Bingo. We can cook out at the lake, clean up the streets, hold beautification events, and so much more but we need YOUR participation to make these things happen. Without volunteers, there is no event. This will be a far stronger focus in 2016 so please give us your ideas and lend a hand to help make it happen. Thanks in advance for helping!
Let’s all come together in 2016 and continue to strengthen our friendships with one another. Let’s work on some projects, beautify the neighborhood, get together at least once a month, and show our appreciation for all those around us who work every day to make East Lake Terrace a wonderful place to live!