Talking with Alice Fry
Today I want to share a conversation I had with Alice Fry, one of the Resident Volunteers at Good Neighbor House. Alice’s area of responsibility within the house is Community Engagement, which means she works closely with the Board Members to enhance the organization’s relationship with the neighborhood and people who regularly use Good Neighbor House. One of the questions Alice constantly finds herself asking is “How can we best serve our neighbors and people who are consistently using our space?” Alice and the Community Engagement team answer this question by calling to check in on the members of the Good Neighbor Community in addition to finding ways to extend and maybe host people who haven’t gotten much use of Good Neighbor House. Alice mentioned that calling to check in on members of the community is especially important now during this pandemic.
Alice found Good Neighbor House through one of her friends that she met in graduate school, who was a Resident Volunteer at Good Neighbor House. When her friend left the position, she asked Alice if she would want to fill her position, which she did. Alice told me how glad she is that she took the opportunity because working at Good Neighbor House gives her the opportunity to give to her community on a regular basis.
To Alice, being a Good Neighbor means being kind and warm, someone who honors the people around them along with their needs and boundaries. She also believes that being a Good Neighbor means fostering relationships to help make a healthy community. She described a healthy relationship as one that’s built on consistency and has the foundation of openness. She thinks an important value is meeting people where they’re at without having expectations of or judgements about them.
My favorite part of the interview, though, was when Alice told me how Good Neighbor House is being a Good Neighbor, even though it’s currently closed because of COVID. Good Neighbor House chose to not be open / to limit the use of the house because they want to protect the community. Even during a pandemic, Good Neighbor House continues to do what’s best for our neighbors.