Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown and the City of Buffalo continue to work to ensure public safety, prioritize the health and welfare of residents and visitors, and reduce circles of exposure to COVID-19 in our community. Today, Mayor Brown announced the launch of the Good Neighbors Network (GNN), a timely initiative that leverages the existing goodwill and social networks of Buffalo’s neighborhoods into a way of connecting residents without violating the physical distancing that is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor Brown stated, “In difficult times, the City of Buffalo shines and we are going to overcome this crisis by demonstrating compassion, kindness and a resolve to be there for each other. Our ability to be strong for each other will help see us through this challenge and that is why the Good Neighbors Network is going to play a vital role in our response to the COVID-19 emergency.” Over the course of this weekend, individuals who have registered with the City’s volunteer website will join block club leaders and members, as well as police officers and recruits, in safely placing door hangers at the homes of residents throughout Buffalo as part of the GNN initiative. All distributors will be practicing proper social distancing measures, and wearing gloves.
The door hangers have two sides, one which provides basic information on the Good Neighbors Network and another, brightly colored side, which residents can choose to place on their door handles indicating that they may need some form of assistance. After a door hanger has been delivered, residents are being asked to bring it inside and only hang it outside again, with the brightly colored side facing out, when they think they might be in need of assistance.
311 Operators and other participating staff have been given a special resource guide that is regularly updated and contains information regarding operating food pantries, prescription delivery services, grocery delivery services, closures, and other critical information
The Good Neighbor Network builds on the capacity of the City’s robust 311 Call & Resolution Line and significant outreach programs, like Clean Sweeps, to more pro-actively let residents know that there are ways to access help if they are in need. Again, Residents can still directly call 311 for any non-emergency related need and they should call 911 for any type of emergency. GNN participants have been given instructions on how to maintain their health and safety and practice physical distancing while they are distributing door hangers, and submitting requests for assistance through a Building Blocks App. Once the door hanger distribution phase is over, participating GNN neighbors will continue to walk or drive down every block looking for door hanger requests throughout this crisis.
In closing, Mayor Brown stated, “I want to thank all of the volunteers, block club leaders and members, our City workforce including police and 311 operators, and everyone else that has worked to put the GNN program in place. By working together and being there for each other we are demonstrating how a City of Good Neighbors responds in crisis. I am so proud of the City of Buffalo. God bless us all.”