As the epicenter of front-porch-culture in Canada it is no wonder that downtown Hamilton is attracting people-people; more and more every month. My question is, does the place make the people or do the people make the place?
Here in Hamilton I have found a community of like-minded souls, motivated by each other, eager to integrate, to participate, to be themselves and to get to know one another. Who could have imagined that so many people would come out in sweltering heat or pouring rain to clean up back alleys or deliver newsletters with no inducement beyond each other’s company? At these events I catch up with people I am getting to know and meet people I don’t yet know, and as I observe them what seems clear is that Hamilton is bubbling over with people-people.
Rows and rows of front porches, peppered with upholstered furniture and old TVs, clusters of people every few houses. Betty next door mows and weeds people’s lawns and Rob on the other side shovels up and down in the winter. The neighbourhood kids help me prepare for parties and the fellow across the road helps them with computer homework. I hear many, many stories of people being neighbourly like that (mostly from Betty) while others get involved with the community groups for more collaborative projects. Still others turn their vision of helping into services like the Hamilton Dream Centre. And so it spreads, this interconnected web of helping-giving-doing interaction. It is a community rife with need but rich in assets, the greatest of which is its people.