Creating a Support System in a New Community

Creating a Support System in a New Community

Moving into a new community can be tough. Oftentimes, it means you are leaving a community of people and places you know and have to figure out a way to build a new support system in your new neighborhood. Though it may seem intimidating, there are always people nearby who are ready to show their respect and care for you. Knowing where to engage and which resources are available to you can be very beneficial in helping you get settled into a new community.

 

Get to Know Your Neighbors

If you’re looking to get involved in your community, start with where you live. Meet your neighbors, introduce yourself to the local homeowner’s association, and make an effort to get to know some of the friendly faces you see on a daily basis. If you are a courteous and responsible neighbor, that is also kind and fun to be around, your neighbors will begin to notice. Go out on a limb and take your neighbor some baked goods or invite them over for dinner! It may seem intimidating, but people appreciate when others make an effort to get to know them and they may remember that the next time they have gathering you could attend.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

One fantastic way to meet people in your community and build a support system with likeminded people is through volunteering. Identify a cause that is important to you and commit some of your time to a local organization that gives back to that cause. Volunteering brings joy by allowing you to align your values and actions around something you’re passionate about.

If you’re not sure where to volunteer, start with your passions. If you are a parent or guardian that is passionate about helping provide better educational opportunities for your kids, consider volunteering with the parent-teacher association (PTA) at your child’s school. Doing so would allow you to stay informed about what’s happening in your child’s education journey and would provide an opportunity for you to connect with other parents and guardians. You already would have one thing in common – you love your kids! Check your child’s school website to reach out and learn more about the PTA in your community.

Moreover, there’s no shortage of volunteer opportunities in any given neighborhood. Wherever you live, there’s sure to be plenty of nonprofit organizations or other affiliations that need a helping hand. You can use online search engines like VolunteerMatch, Idealist and United Way to find a local opportunity that fits your needs and interests. Whether you want to work with rescue animals, advocate for human rights or give back to arts and culture, there are ways to use your interest to give back to the community and meet kind-hearted people in the process.

 

Networking Organizations

If you’re a career-minded individual, or someone who is really passionate about the work they do, expanding on your professional connections could be a great way for you to get plugged into the community. Look both inside and outside of your company for professional development and networking opportunities that can not only fill your time but also allow you to get to know the people in your work community.

Your coworkers, managers and human resources representatives can all be valuable resources as you search for networking organizations and professional development opportunities near you. If your current place of employment doesn’t seem to be aware of any networking groups, you can also find opportunities on online platforms like Meetup, Meeting Professionals International or CareerDFW that organize online groups and host in-person events to help you learn more about topics, industries and careers that interest you.

 

Use the Internet

It may seem like a silly and obvious answer, but the internet can be a wonderful tool in helping you get plugged into your community. There are a wide variety of apps, website and online platforms that allow you to connect with people in your local community that have similar interests as you.

Facebook, for example, has Facebook Groups established for nearly every interest and location. Not only does Facebook automatically suggest groups that you might be interested in, but it also allows you to search specific criteria to find groups that may be a good fit for you. You can choose the topics you like and explore and connect with people who share your interests. Oftentimes, these groups produce real life connections by posting about local events and gatherings happening. Take advantage of these gatherings to get to know people in your neighborhood.

Another great online tool is Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a social networking service for neighborhoods that allows people to register based off of their addresses. Posts made to the website are available only to other Nextdoor members living in the same neighborhood. Since all users are verified, the site is a hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services. The site is a great way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood, from events, to safety tips, sales and even clubs.

 

Common Interest Activities 

Finally, establishing a support system in your new community can be done by just continuing to pursue the things you already love. Perhaps the quickest way to meet people similar to you is by engaging in common interest activities. Whatever you like doing, it’s highly likely that there are people in your community who also enjoy doing those same things.

From book clubs to religious affiliations, fitness centers and trivia groups, you can integrate your favorite pastimes into a way to meet people near you! Spend some time to think about what you enjoy doing most, and use one of the aforementioned resources, or your local chamber of commerce, to find groups or places near you that engage in those activities

Establishing a new support system can certainly feel overwhelming but starting with what you already know and enjoy can take you further than you could imagine.

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