Back In The Neighborhood
In just a few short days, we'll welcome over 1,200 of you to Revolution Hall for this year's XOXO. After last year's festival at Veterans Memorial Coliseum (a venue that even to those of us who live here feels like it's another world away), we've very glad to be bringing you back to our old neighborhood.
Every year, we like to set time aside to talk about the history of our venue, and bring to light issues affecting the surrounding area. In 2016, we invited Jess Larson to speak about Portland's housing crisis, and came together to raise over $50,000 for JOIN. In 2018, Rukaiyah Adams spoke about the history of the Albina neighborhood and the Albina Vision project.
As we return home to Revolution Hall this year, we’re revisiting the ongoing housing crisis in Portland, and considering how we can come together as a community to do something immediately impactful for our houseless neighbors.
The Crisis Continues
Although we're seeing expanded tenant protections and a slowdown of rising rents, housing costs continue to outpace income for our most vulnerable neighbors. For many Portlanders, safe, stable, affordable housing is still far out of reach.
According to a recent report from the City of Portland, the number of people experiencing houselessness in our community increased to 4,177 in 2017 from 3,801 in 2015. While much has been done, it's clear there's still much left to do.
Our 2019 Fundraiser
This year, we decided to focus our fundraising efforts on local grassroots organizations dedicated to providing support services to our neighbors who are experiencing houselessness.
Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library for people living outside. Serving up titles from their customized "bikemobiles," Street Books serves many low-income residents all across Portland, including day laborers and immigrants: streetbooks.org
Portland Street Medicine is a coalition of volunteer medical providers, social workers, and care managers who provide quality medical care to Portlanders who are facing unstable housing or are sleeping on the streets: portlandstreetmedicine.org
Every dollar raised will help both Street Books and Portland Street Medicine to continue their vital work in our community. You can donate now through our JustGiving campaign.
Donate Your Favorite Book
In addition to our fundraiser, we're also hoping to help Street Books expand their library. They've compiled a list of their most requested titles, and we've set up a spreadsheet with links to purchase from Powells (preferred!) or Amazon (if you must!). You can ship orders to our office, or drop off your donation in person at Revolution Hall.
If you'd prefer, you can also donate a title that means something to you. They're especially interested in receiving titles from Black, Brown, Queer, and Indigenous authors. All donations gratefully received. You can view their wishlist and purchase titles using this spreadsheet.
As you spend time in Portland this week, we encourage you to carry the spirit of XOXO into the city around you. Be kind to the people you meet, attendees and otherwise. Use our fantastic public transit, and be sure to say hi to your bus driver as you board. Support local businesses, especially those owned by people of color. Buy a book from our on site pop-up shop and support our friends at Microcosm Publishing.
Welcome back. Won’t you be our neighbor?