The Ainsworth Street Collective

Lisa Gambee, founder of the Ainsworth Street Collective, stopped by with a few of her neighbors (Linda Rose, Sara Case and Rob van Nood) to tell us how they turned their Portland neighborhood into an active, thriving community  --  The Ainsworth Street Collective.

She shared her tips for how you can get started too:

  1. Get Outside!  Lisa Gambee says you can meet a lot more of your neighbors if you're outside.  When you see neighbors out for a stroll or walking their dogs, say hello!   That's the best way to start.
  2. Host a Casual Gathering   Ask everyone to bring a dish to share.  During the potluck, have everyone introduce themselves and tell how they came to be in the neighborhood.  Before the end of the night, ask for a volunteer to host the next one. 
  3. Set up a contact List   Lisa went above and beyond and made a community handbook.  Inside the handbook is a directory with every neighbor's name, address, phone number and email address.  She also says it's helpful to create a Google map of your neighborhood and mark where everyone lives.
  4. Find Common Interests  Lisa says this can be as informal as asking people what they like to do or as formal as creating what she calls an "asset map' listing people's skills and interests.  Once you know what the common interests are you can begin setting up activities and groups around them.
  5. Start a Neighborhood Project that Gets People working Together  Lisa's community built an earthen oven together over two weekends, but you can do something as simple as a neighborhood cleanup.


For more information about The Ainsworth Street Collective you can send an email to:


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