April 13, 2005
When Jill Humpherys moved to Gilbert two and a half years ago, she wanted to find out about her new town and what the area was like.
So she attended one of Gilbert’s new resident socials.
"I didn’t know much about Arizona and needed to find my way around," said Humpherys, who moved from Pennsylvania with her husband, Richard, and five children. "The social helped a lot. It helps a lot just to get a feel for what Gilbert is all about."
With more than 1,000 people moving to Gilbert each month, the town and the Congress of Neighborhoods reaches out to residents by holding socials with information that families should know.
Gilbert residents are invited to the next social 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Southeast Regional Library, at Guadalupe and Greenfield roads.
"We know there are families that have a number of challenges and difficulties," said Helga Stafford, Gilbert’s neighborhood services specialist.
Representatives from the Boys and Girls Club, the Riparian Preserve and Gilbert Leadership will talk about their programs and services they provide to the community. Attendees receive newcomer kits with local maps and handy information about Gilbert.
"New residents won’t get this information on their own in a two-hour period," Stafford said. "They would be saving themselves quite a bit of time and energy by attending the social."
The socials were started four years ago by the Congress of Neighborhoods, a group of residents representing Gilbert neighborhoods whose goal is to get feedback of residents’ needs and desires. Four socials have been held each year and two more socials will be added in the future in large communities with clubhouses, such as Power Ranch, Stafford said.
New residents have become involved in the community because of the socials by joining the Congress of Neighborhoods, their homeowners associations and other town boards and groups, Stafford said.
Humpherys got involved in her Spring Meadows neighborhood, took several classes at the library on landscaping and water conservation, and was more willing to go to the municipal government for help because she had met town staff at the social.
"It’s really been a benefit both to the new people that come and to the community," Stafford said.
The socials will focus on voter turnout because only Nevada, California and Hawaii have worse voter turnout than Arizona, Stafford said.
"In all the newcomer packets, we have voter registration forms and encourage them to get registered as soon as they can," Stafford said.
Find out more
To reserve a seat for Saturday’s social, call (480) 503-6767. Coffee and snacks will be provided, and families with kids are welcome.