Street Roots

for those who cannot afford free speech

Our Mission

Street Roots creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual and social change.


Street Roots marches in the Portland Pride Parade

Street Roots both leads and supports varying advocacy efforts related to homelessness and housing efforts in Portland and throughout the state of Oregon and around the United States.

Street Roots is a part of advocacy efforts related to local and state budget cuts, mental health matters, public safety, health care, civil rights and a range of other important issues that affect people experiencing poverty.

Street Roots is a proud member of the Western Regional Advocacy Project, the Oregon Housing Alliance and the International Network of Street Newspapers.


Our latest efforts:


  • Street Roots helped launch the new Welcome Home Coalition — working to secure long-term funding for homeless services and affordable housing throughout the Portland Metro region.

  • Street Roots worked to secure $1.7 million dollars in one-time funding for short-term rent assistance.

  • Street Roots partnered with the City Club of Portland, Oregon On and the Citizens Crime Commission to present a series on homelessness at the City Club of Portland.

  • Street Roots Board Member and Vendor Leo Rhodes was the co-chair of the City Club of Portland research project on health care and homelessness.

  • Street Roots advocated on a range of different social justice issues in the newspaper — supporting marriage equality, the legalization of marijuana and increased housing resources, to name a few.



  • Street Roots led a campaign along with coalition partners to secure $5.4 million dollars in funding for housing and homeless services in Portland.

  • Worked to deter sidewalk legislation in Salem that would have allowed cities around Oregon to target people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

  • Street Roots led a social media campaign titled #MyHomePDX to better tell the stories of people experiencing homelessness and poverty and to combat negative press about people on the streets.



  • Street Roots led a campaign along with coalition partners to secure $4.8 million dollars in funding for housing and homeless services in Portland.

  • Street Roots co-authored Multnomah County’s first Homeless Deaths report with the County Health Department. The now annual report works to better understand why people are dying on the streets in order to create preventive measures and resources for people experiencing homelessness.


Other highlights:


  • After losing $10,000 annually from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development — Street Roots produces an investigative report on how local Catholic Campaign are defunding grassroots poverty organizations due to their affiliations with women’s health care organizations and marriage equality organizations.



  • Street Roots investigative reporting helped saved 300 families from eviction in NW Oregon. Our reporting was eventually used as testimony on the house floor in D.C. on the lack of oversight of the rural housing authorities and why funding needed to be restored for the families being evicted.



  • Street Roots co-founded Dignity Village, Portland’s first city sanctioned tent city.


Our Friends Speak About Street Roots

Street Roots helps people reach their individual potential while giving them the sense of belonging and personal self worth.  What a gift this organization is to our community.

- Mary Edmeades, Vice President, Albina Community Bank