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.

Vendor Program

About the Vendor Program: 170 active vendors buy and resell Street Roots in the Portland metropolitan area. 700 vendors sell the newspaper during the course of a year. Collectively, nearly 40,000 newspapers are sold each month.

Vendors purchase the paper for $0.25, which goes towards printing, and sell the paper for $1.00, keeping all profit and any tips. 

What do vendors selling the newspaper and Street Roots do?

  • Empower 700 homeless and low income individuals to secure immediate and basic needs each year
  • Put money directly in the pockets of your friends and neighbors experiencing homelessness and poverty
  • Provide a path to self sufficiency, including skill development and resume building
  • Foster self-respect and a sense of personal worth
  • Create a safe avenue to build cross-class relationships and facilitate dialogue
  • Inform and educate the general public about issues of homelessness and poverty
  • Bring alternative news that can’t be found anywhere else
  • Offer local businesses the opportunity to have a known face outside their entry way, treating customers with kindness and respect

What vendors say about selling Street Roots:

"Street Roots has offered me employment, self-respect, and the pride of belonging.” — Eddie Zuber

“It’s all about tolerance, compassion and community for me,” said Saul, who sells in the Pearl. “We’re all part of a community, don’t think you’re by yourself.” As part of the community, Saul encourages people to rely on him and each other. “Use what you can from others when you need it, but at the same time, realize you’ve got to put the effort out there for yourself. There’s really nobody else who’s going to take care of your problems unless they can see your problems.”

“Tomorrow,” says Charles who recently got in to housing, “I think I’ll wake up in a dream and just look outside.” After a lifetime of drifting, Charles finally had a place of his own to lay his head. “That has everything to do with Street Roots. I’ve got a place to stay tonight. I might be awake all night and look out the windows to make sure this is not a dream.”

Our Friends Speak About Street Roots

I firmly believe that Street Roots was largely responsible for keeping the fate of inmate moms and their children on the minds of Oregonians. Because of Street Roots' in-depth reporting and tireless advocacy, the Oregon legislature overturned the Dept. of Corrections' decision to de-fund the Family Preservation Project at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville. Thanks to Street Roots, the Family Preservation Project is alive and well today helping inmate moms build healthy bonds with their children

- Brian Lindstrom, Filmmaker