About The Neighbors Together Program
Creating a safer, more inclusive community can be as quick and easy as saying hello to your neighbor! And once we get to know our neighbors, we are more empowered to check-in when we notice small things askew such as mail piling up or a garage door left open.
The Neighbors Together program provides opportunities for community members to build relationships with each other and get training on a variety of safety-related situations. Getting to know each other better and maintaining relationships helps us break down our unconscious biases about who or what we see as unsafe and treat each other with respect. Our proactive program also gives community members the tools and techniques to deescalate or resolve conflicts or tense moments without having to call the police immediately, or at all.
Whether you’re new to Portland and want to meet your neighbors or you have neighbors from different backgrounds that you want to get to know, these trainings engage neighbors to build stronger and more unified relationships by working toward a shared goal—creating communities where all Portlanders feel safe, connected, and welcomed.
We provide free trainings and workshops for groups of five or more people who live, work, go to school or play together in Portland. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trainings are currently conducted virtually. How it works:
- Community groups meet to identify a safety interest;
- We develop a shared agreement of the training topic;
- The Community Safety Team coordinates a training with the group.
- Emergency preparedness
- Personal safety
- Active transportation, safe routes to school and pedestrian safety
- Social connections and reducing social isolation
- Youth safety
- Public safety systems navigation and reporting hate and bias
- Community advocacy and organizing
- Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
- Block party organizing and other street events
- Multi-dwelling safety (apartments, condos)
- Community care and litter removal events (schools, parks, block)
- Bicycle theft prevention
Neighbors Together was intentionally designed, in part, to replace the outdated Neighborhood Watch program model. In more recent years — particularly in the wake of Black Lives Matter movement — it has become apparent that the Neighborhood Watch model promoted suspicion , enforcement, and bias-leading to snap judgements about who was allowed and was not allowed to be in certain areas. These judgements then led to the police making any such perceived “intrusions” punishable and disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) community members.
Civic Life believes in building resilient, more inclusive communities where all Portlanders can feel welcome. To do this, we must change old structures and build new structures to end systemic racism practices in models and processes of government. We must remain openminded and flexible while working together toward equity and social justice for all.
Request a Training
For more information, please fill out this quick form: Neighbors Together Online Form
Resources in Multiple Languages
Want to learn more about this program or spread the word? Below are the workbook and the brochure in English, Vietnamese, Russian, Spanish and Somali.
Promote the Common Good: Civic Life is building stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders. We think, act, and partner with our communities to better understand and take care of their diverse needs. We invite you to join us in this continuous, much needed work to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all.