Neighbor Exchange in Aspen Hill

On Saturday, April 23 residents gathered on the green space at Westchester West Apartments for IMPACT’s first Neighbor Exchange since the start of the pandemic. The event was organized by members of the Hewitt Avenue Neighbor Circle (HANC) and featured fun family activities, music, connections to county resources and services, and COVID testing and vaccinations.

The HANC began almost a year ago with ten Latina women who live at Westchester West. With the help of IMPACT Senior Network Builder Carmen Hernandez, they formed a circle to build relationships among their families and explore ways to improve their community. They’ve been particularly focused on increasing the number of local recreation areas for young people, improving access to health care, and shining a light on pedestrian and traffic safety issues.

Since their formation, they’ve submitted testimony to a County Council Town Hall, met with Councilmember Gabe Albernoz, met with the Director of the Muslim Dental Clinic, strengthened ties with their property managers, and now have organized a Neighbor Exchange!

The event brought together not only residents from Westchester West, but also four other nearby apartment and condominium complexes (a first for an IMPACT Neighbor Exchange!). Service and resource providers such as Montgomery County Department of Transportation; the Latino Health Initiative; the Mid-County Regional Services Center; and the Street Outreach Network each had information tables as did representatives from the property management company, Harbor Group Management.

As the event was ending, HANC member Dalila Castro shared that she was pleased with how the day had gone: “It was beautiful, especially to see the young people gathered. I think this is the beginning of a change.  Ultimately, we want to see more recreational spaces.  But, for today it was nice to see the children having fun here.”

Categories :