Call it the neighborhood watch for the Internet age. Communities in Roanoke are using a new website to borrow tools and find babysitters but also keep each other safe. Neighbors are finding each other "next door."
Teresa Kelly lives in a secluded cluster of homes next to Patrick Henry High School. Recent break-ins in the neighborhood coincided with her learning about a new social media site, Nextdoor.com
"It was at a time when we needed to communicate about [the break-ins] quickly," she says.
So she and 40 other families have been logging on and checking in online, but more importantly they are looking around the Shrine Hill neighborhood for crime. Plus they are starting to offer a helping hand.
"They have a tab for babysitters," she says. "So if my daughter wants to babysit on Saturday night, we can post that on next door and if any neighbor has a need they can do it that way."
Nextdoor.com allows neighbors to ask each other questions, get recommendations for services, and track hyperlocal trends.
Charlie Boswell lives across the street from the Kellys. While he admits it's not Mayberry where they live, he does want to use nextdoor to bring everyone together.
"Teresa and I have talked about when the weather gets nicer through our site to do a block party," he says. "there used to be one and it had two or three hundred people."