by Natalie Green
By hosting a house party for your neighborhood, you can help increase the safety of your community. With the busy lifestyles so many people lead today, neighbors rarely have time to meet, let alone socialize. Yet strong, safe neighborhoods depend on the community awareness of their inhabitants. House parties are one way to keep everyone in the neighborhood connected.

A house party can serve many purposes. By hosting a house party, you can give neighbors the chance to meet each other and become involved in the community. House parties can be aimed at simply encouraging friendliness and social interaction, or they can be held to introduce a new neighbor, celebrate holidays and communicate about issues affecting the community.

House parties can also be focused on children, so that neighborhood kids get to know the children and adults who live around them — and the people they can turn to in the event of an emergency. When children have a sense of community with those around them, they also tend to participate in fewer risky behaviors and to have fewer mental health problems.

So make the first move and help forge connections in your community. The result will be a healthier, safer place to live.

  • Make it Fun. Throwing a house party should be fun. Create a welcoming atmosphere and encourage mingling among your guests. Start your house party by introducing yourself and your family. Let your guests know your concerns and desire for a closer neighborhood. After you have spoken, give your guests a chance to address the party. Provide name badges for each guest. Welcome your neighbors, and let the party begin.
  • Don’t Drain Your Wallet. To avoid taking on an unmanageable financial burden, make your house party a potluck — you can even request that all neighbors bring their recipes to share. Alternatively, you can serve snacks instead of a full meal, and provide flavored teas and coffee beverages instead of buying sodas. Save your decorations for use in another party some other time.
  • Create a House Party Committee. Ask neighbors if they would like to rotate hosting house parties at their homes so the community can stay in touch regularly. Rotate hosts and plan all parties together.
  • Team up. In between house parties, consider creating a neighborhood safety team to keep the community connections going. Details and instructions are available at Neighborhood Safety Net.