September 1, 2016

Our Neighborhood

A week from today, just over 1,200 of you will join us in Portland to participate in this year’s festival.

Each year, Andy and I try to be considerate of the impact that bringing so many visitors into the city can have on our neighborhood. As Portland residents, we want XOXO to be a force for good. With you as visitors, we want to ensure that the generosity and kindness we see in this community is shared with our neighbors too.

Tonight—as Portland city officials consider extending our housing emergency into its second year—almost 2,000 of our neighbors will sleep outside or in their cars.

This year, XOXO is partnering with JOIN to be a part of the solution. JOIN is a local organization that works to address this overwhelming tragedy, helping between 10 and 15 people each week leave the streets for a home. Since 1997, JOIN has been successful in relocating over 9,000 individuals off the streets and into permanent housing.

Our goal is to raise at least $5,000 by the end of this year’s festival, enough for JOIN to assist one homeless family in moving off the streets and into permanent housing. $5,000 will allow JOIN to cover first and last month’s rent, deposit, move-in costs, and short-term rent / utility assistance while this family gets back on their feet.

If every one of our attendees donates just $5, we’ll raise enough to help a family move off the streets permanently. Every additional $3,000 is enough to help another individual, and every $5,000, another family.

You can donate now through our Tilt campaign.

In addition, XOXO is joining the long list of local organizations endorsing the Yes For Affordable Homes campaign. Measure 26-179 will raise $258.4 million over the next 20 years, financing new affordable housing for an estimated 2,900 people. We’ve made a $2,500 contribution in support of the bond measure, we’ll be voting in support, and we encourage the Portlanders in our community to also vote Yes this November.

As you arrive in Portland next week, we encourage you to be mindful visitors. Eat, drink, and patronize local businesses. Use our phenomenal public transit system. If you’re able, walk and bike the length and breadth of this wonderful city.

And be kind to our neighbors, especially those experiencing homelessness.

Thank you again for your generosity. See you next week!