Why does no one care?


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/05/2021 (758 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When I speak with people about the biggest problems in their neighbourhoods, the list can vary but the conversation always ends the same way: “People just don’t care.”

This is true in a lot of cases — no one cares anymore. But the thing is it’s not the people that have changed, people want to care — they just need something to care about.

We, as a community, have stripped away all the things that meant something to people. We’ve actively removed the reasons for people to care — and without a reason to care, no one will.

Photo by Steve Snyder New businesses, such as Modern Coffee at 191 Inkster Blvd., are some of the things that can help people feel proud about their neighbourhoods once again.

When my neighbourhood was first built it was built with pride: we had beautiful buildings, we had local ownership, and we had high social capital and a strong local community. People knew one another.

It’s not the people who have changed, it’s the community. People still look for things to care about, but it’s hard when they see the local businesses close, when they see buildings owned by absentee landlords not being maintained. People are still the same  but when we look around it’s these changes in the neighbourhood that affect us. They kill our pride and foster apathy.

As I engage with more and more people I have come to realize that if you truly want more people to care you have to start by changing the place. You have to start giving people the ability to fix the problems themselves. You have to give them a reason and the ability to build something new, to open a store, to add some colour.

When a new store opens up you can say to yourself: “This community is better because of Modern Coffee…” or “I’m excited for the family that opened The Bench Warmers Collectibles.”
You can say you’re proud to call this neighbourhood home.

It doesn’t take much — sweeping the sidewalk, collecting trash, a few flowers, just small things that make our places more beautiful, so that when others see them they think to themselves that they’re proud to be here too.

These aren’t huge expenses, and don’t require new bylaws or more legislation — bit by bit, block by block, small incremental things can make our place just a little bit better.

If each of us puts just a little bit more into the neighbourhood, however they can, people will start caring again.

Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association.

Steve Snyder

Steve Snyder
Luxton / Seven Oaks community correspondent

Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association

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