Buffalo residents are finding colorful cards hanging from their doorknobs this weekend as the city launches the Good Neighbors Network, a program designed to help people find non-emergency assistance while maintaining a safe physical distance.
The door hangers tell how to alert neighbors, block club members or first responders when they need a wellness check or some other kind of help. Volunteers and block club members began distributing 150,000 of them on Friday, city officials said. If the pink side is displayed on someone's door knob, it's a sign that help is needed.
Through the Good Neighbors Network, block club members and neighbor volunteers will notify the city’s Division of Citizen Services, which will follow up on the problem. Citizen Services also may be contacted directly by calling 311, but lines may be busy due to a recent high volume of calls, officials noted.
“When our network of volunteers, block club members, police officers and ordinary residents see someone indicating they need help, then I am confident the Good Neighbors Network will be able to help that resident access the support they need,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said in a press release announcing the program. “Through this network, we will ensure our most vulnerable residents still feel connected to their community and that we, as the City of Good Neighbors, are here for them.”
Residents should not be alarmed if they see someone attaching a door hanger and the hangers are safe to bring inside, the press release said.
The announcement also cautioned residents not to open their doors to someone they do not know and added that those distributing door hangers are not supposed to ask to come inside or request personal information.