HEY NEIGHBOR COLLECTIVE
British Columbia, Canada.
“The West End Seniors' Network runs the Close to Home program for older adults. They support Resident Connectors who plan social activities in the buildings where they live. So the first thing that I did in my building was organize an Easter egg decorating activity. A lot of folks, they live alone, may not have any family or friends that they have easy access to. Being able to meet in a community space with the other neighbors is really helpful in not feeling so alone and isolated. Connecting with our neighbors improves our social lives and increases people's sense of safety and community.”
Video: Benefits of Neighborly Connections for residents in multi-unit housing’ by Hey Neighbor Collective
“Close To Home works to build connections and address isolation and loneliness in a building with a high proportion of older adults by offering onsite programs and events. With support from resident volunteer leaders and WESN staff, residents organize activities around lunch to encourage older adults to step out of their units and into the common area to talk, eat, learn and share with their neighbors of all ages. Older adults who face transportation or mobility challenges are more likely to engage because they don’t need to leave the building, and neighbors become ongoing sources of support.”
The Community Connectors Program organizes and promotes opportunities for neighbors to get involved in social activities for residents who may feel isolated. Coffee chats, walking groups, games, doggy playdates, resident-painted murals, message boards, and shared spaces such as courtyards or whiteboards to encourage socialization.
Neighbors who have participated have reported an increased sense of safety, inclusion, social connectedness, increase in perceived physical and mental health and well-being, and resilience.
Older adults have opportunities to connect with each other and younger generations leading to a more senior friendly neighborhood.
The Hey Neighbor Collective brings together housing providers, non-profits, researchers, local and regional governments, housing associations and health authorities to experiment with and learn about ways of building community, social connectedness and resilience in BC’s fast-growing multi-unit housing communities.
Many people can receive potential benefits from individuals living in multi-housing units connecting.
Residents – can experience a more vibrant social life, increased individual and collective well-being and resilience.
Landlords – may have safer buildings, improved reputation and market advantage among tenants.
Housing operators – may have stable tenancies, reduced tenant conflicts, greater sense of belonging and care for property among residents.
Non-profit organizations – easier outreach to residents in multi-unit buildings.
Municipalities - Strengthened community support systems, Improved emergency preparedness and resilience.
Senior Housing & Assisted Living
Senior Friendly Community Programs
WATCH VIDEO ON THE HEY NEIGHBOR COLLECTIVE