I’ve always been fascinated by people’s stories—where they came from, what they enjoy, what keeps them up at night. There’s something powerful about sitting across from someone, looking them in the eye and hearing about their life. It’s amazing how even 15 minutes of listening can foster so much connection, understanding and friendship. Storytelling builds bridges.

Since the start of Covid, I have been feeling disconnected, isolated and even judgmental. So I started The Open Door Project. I asked 17 neighbors (and six dogs) to open their doors to me and just talk about life—what brought them to the neighborhood, what they enjoy about living here, how they are finding joy in their lives. Over the last several weeks I’ve been in homes I’ve never set foot in before. I’ve played with dogs I’ve never met. I’ve lived here for eight years—more than 2,900 days—and most of these stories were completely unknown to me.

Obviously, these stories are just a small window into people’s lives. They only capture a fraction of our conversations—the parts I personally found most meaningful. Behind the closed doors in our neighborhood, there are endless more stories to share. I hope The Open Door Project will inspire you to open your door and knock on your neighbor’s. Everyone has a story to tell if we’ll only take the time to listen.