Community Directories and Supporting Your Local Network

When I moved to St. Louis from Detroit a few years ago, I was eager to get connected in my new neighborhood. One of the first resources I found was a community directory that our local business district compiled and printed every year. It included a list of businesses, local resources and non-profits, churches, a calendar of events, and a full page of important contacts for common neighborhood questions and concerns. What a handy tool! This little booklet guided me through my first several months as a new neighbor.

Whether you are new to a neighborhood or you have lived there for years, I highly recommend tracking down a community directory. You can check with your local chamber of commerce, business district, neighborhood association, or Facebook/Nextdoor groups to see if such a resource exists. My new state representative started sending out directories to constituents this year, so that is another possibility. Make sure you request extra copies so that you can deliver some to new neighbors who move to your block.

You can turn this into a fun family activity. Once you have secured a community directory, either in print or online, choose a different local business, event, or neighborhood group to support each month. Introduce yourself to the staff or event hosts and let them know how you found them. If you h