GREENSBURG, Ind. — "Good town, good town. You can walk the streets safely," said Robert Kirby as he sat getting his haircut in downtown Greensburg, Indiana.
The southeastern Indiana community is proud to be the county seat, proud of its agricultural roots and last — but certainly not least — proud to be home to the world famous Courthouse Tree.
"The tree in the courthouse. That's what we're famous for, is the tree in the courthouse square," Kirby said. He's lived in Greensburg for the past 25 years and raised a family.
"It's not a huge town. Everybody knows everybody pretty much," he added.
And if a campaign to bring more people to live in Greensburg is successful, there could soon be a lot more people for Kirby to know.
"We're a welcoming community that wants to be your home base," said Greensburg Mayor Joshua Marsh.
Marsh said the town's willing to offer $5,000 in relocation costs to people who move there, in a push to get people who are working remotely to make Greensburg home.
"We'd love to have so many people moving here that we have to build more houses," Marsh said.
Tammi Wenning, the executive director of the Decatur County Community Foundation, said Greensburg is special because the town doesn't know a stranger.
She even offered her and her husband's grandparenting service as part of the relocation incentives.
"If somebody needs somebody, we can do that," Wenning said. "Cookies, hugs, things at school — I'll put their art on my refrigerator and be proud of it."
The move to smaller communities like Greensburg is happening all across the country during the pandemic, as more people are working remotely and realizing they can enjoy a more affordable cost of living in smaller towns.
"It's more affordable and for many people. It sort of matches the lifestyle they’re looking for," said Evan Hock, co-founder and chief operating officer of Make My Move, an online directory that helps connect people with cities and towns offering incentives to move there.
"The pandemic and remote work has essentially freed millions of people to be able to choose their home base of where they actually want to live," Hock said.
For Robert Kirby, there's nowhere else he'd rather be.
"I enjoy it here. I've been here 25 years and will be here the rest of my life hopefully," Kirby said.
Now, Greensburg is rolling out the proverbial red carpet — with grandparents to boot — hoping others will want to join him.
"We want Greensburg to be the place that they call home now," Mayor Marsh said.
Click here to check out the town's other relocation incentives.