Finding ways to stay connected and keep informed about our community is more important than ever now that we are practicing social distancing. Following the issuance of the Stay at Home Order, all Near West Side Partners staff were charged with finding ways to continue their work without the usual tools. But this challenge turned into a great opportunity for a regular check-in on Friday afternoons.

The Near West Side Community Engagement team, led by Bobby McQuay, Barb Scotty, and Britney Roberson, began hosting weekly webinars to connect with residents and share news and resources available in the community — all in 30 minutes or less. Each week a special guest is invited to provide updates on available resources and ongoing community issues. Captain Norman joined at the beginning of May to share information about how MPD is operating during the COVID-19 outbreak and tips on how to stay safe during this public health crisis. Alderman Bauman will join the call on May 15th to discuss recent assessment changes and other neighborhood issues.

These Friday calls are not just a place to learn about what is happening in the community – it’s also a great time to see and hear your neighbors. Studies show that isolation and loneliness has negative effects on mental health and physical health. Many of our neighbors are not able to leave their homes, visit with their friends and family, and make trips to the store. These calls serve as a check-in and an opportunity to connect – albeit remotely – with others who care.

If you are interested in joining the Friday webinars, please register in advance here. We look forward to “seeing” you soon!

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