When Communities Are Cleaner, They Are Safer

Everyone arrives into this great country, the United States, hoping to find a safer home, a better opportunity and a brighter future for our families, and especially our kids. The opportunity to attain and maintain these qualities begins as soon as you enter your new home.

Each person’s home has a great influence in the safety of our neighborhood as well as in our society as a whole. Areas of Buffalo are very diverse—in those neighborhoods, diversity can be a benefit. People—families, neighbors, businesses—coming from many parts of the globe and many backgrounds and styles of life merge in a single community.

A place to live—whether it’s a house or an apartment, rented or owned—is more than piece of property in a block or a roof over your head. This place, as you settle in and prepare to take on a new journey, is your new home. And your home is part of a group of homes—all together they form the communities we live in.

At home we should feel safe, secure and protected from harm. These are the rights we came to find and they should not end at the doorway of your home. We want a safe environment for our families and kids so that their future is not spent walking the streets feeling insecure or worried that something may happen to them.

When we feel secure, we can focus on other values and other important parts of our lives.

Amina Johnson, who works as a tenant advocate at PUSH Buffalo, explained how our communities can affect how we feel. She believes that “everyone deserves to live in a safe and sustainable ‘home’ and if everyone does their part and works together, we can have a safe and healthy environment to live in.”

From an economical viewpoint, if the houses are not kept up properly, then they begin to fall apart physically, and lose financial value. That can cause owners to abandon them and, says Johnson when that does, bad things can happen in communities. “You don’t want the things abandoned houses bring about,” says Johnson.

Safety is a right that can be easily taken away by those who wish to disrupt our tranquility or cause harm to those close to us.

And things that come along with abandoned houses, like broken windows, uncared-for yard, or trash lying on the ground tell others that the community might not be safe.

An article in 44thWard.org, “Making my neighborhood safer,” supports this, saying, “Criminals are attracted to neighborhoods that appear dirty or unkempt.” Although it is hard to understand how little things like this can make neighborhoods unsafe, it’s true. And we do not wish to have this circumstance for our families.

It has been proven that the condition of a house can affect the house next door. Mona Sue-Ho, a social development expert at the Jamaica Social Investment Fund in the West Indies says: “Garbage constantly present in the community sends a signal that no one cares about the place; it’s an invitation for vandalism.”

When we are able to own our own homes,  we can work to maintain our neighborhoods and communities. It is the goal for many of families to own a property/real estate in a safe community for the better future of our kids.

Carmelo A. Parlatto is a real estate agent from Lo Vallo Real Estate. He says, “Staying connected as a community grants a safer and better future for everyone. Our contributions to our communities begin just outside our front door, in our property and the places we frequent every day.”

Your home is part of a your community, and it is each one of our responsibility to take care of it so that they affect our daily lives in a positive way and our safety is not compromised.  K

Percy Oblitas is originally from Peru; he’s been in Buffalo for five years and in the United States for a total of 16.

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