Street Roots

for those who cannot afford free speech

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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.

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Updated: 38 min 16 sec ago

Snapshot of Multnomah County homelessness: Up 10%

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 06:00
While more people were sleeping in shelters, Multnomah County's overall homeless population spiked, according to the county's latest Point-In-Time count

It’s not surprising Portland saw a 10 percent increase in homelessness from 2016 to 2017.

The average one-bedroom apartment now rents for more than $1,100 a month, according to data from Multifamily NW. 

That number has grown 20 times faster than the median income since 2015.

Director’s Desk: With Legislature ignoring housing crisis, local progress is crucial

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 06:00
Oregon lawmakers have never prioritized housing in a substantial way

On the same day Multnomah County announced a 10 percent increase in people experiencing homelessness, Oregon announced cuts to emergency rent assistance. 

If that didn’t add enough insult to injury, the state also proposed a 6 percent cut to other general-fund expenditures from the current service levels that include funding for a low-income rental fund, elderly rental assistance and other support services. 

Editorial cartoon: June 23, 2017

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 05:00

Portland native Elizabeth Considine is the creator of Street Roots' editorial cartoon, Sheeptoast. (Click or tap the image to enlarge it.)

Want to see more Sheeptoast cartoons? VIEW OUR GALLERY

Beyond Portland: What West Coast cities are doing about homelessness

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 22:52
Los Angeles and Seattle have also seen an increase in homelessness – and they're taking action

Multnomah County's overall homeless population has increased 10 percent since 2015, according to the 2017 Homeless Point-In-Time count. But Portland is not alone. Other West Coast cities have also seen their homeless populations increase – and they’re taking steps to address the crisis. 

King County (Seattle)

Unsheltered: 3,772 

Sheltered/transitional housing: 10,047

Overall: 13,819


Street Roots vendor profile: ‘My liveliness is back’

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 23:13
Passionate about writing, Nathan is seeking ways to engage with his new Portland community

About three months ago, Nathan had a cancer scare.

“I found a lump,” he said. “And I just thought, what the hell, I’m gonna go try to live a little.”

That attitude is what brought him from the East Coast to Portland, when he decided to live out his teenage dream of moving to the Northwest. When Nathan was younger, he found sanctuary in his Nirvana CDs. 

“Their music got through to me in a way that was more real to me than anything else in my life, including the people.” 

During Pride Month, Planned Parenthood affirms right of equal health care

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:00
COMMENTARY | Everyone deserves access to health care and protection from discrimination

Every June, LGBTQ communities around the world come together to celebrate their resilience, strength and activism. The annual parades and events commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969, when LGBTQ people stood up to police brutality and pushed back against systematic discrimination, affirming their right to be themselves, safely and proudly. Today, that fight for full civil rights continues. 

Ms. Gay Pride Shayla Adkins stands OUT

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 08:00
She found her place in Portland’s LGBTQ community – but wasn’t always forthcoming about her sexuality. Now, her pageant crown leaves no doubt.

Shayla Adkins was beaming in the bathroom line at The Trap in Southeast Portland, straightening the crown atop her head when she caught my eye. With a shiny sash that read, “Ms. Gay Pride,” the newly minted pageant queen proudly belted Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” into the wee hours of karaoke night. She divulged that in addition to the evening marking her Pride Northwest Pageant victory, she was also celebrating officially coming out.

Tribes score victories against Union Pacific, fossil fuel projects

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 07:00
Columbia River Gorge Commission upholds denial of permits for rail lines in Mosier, Oregon

In a victory for residents, tribal communities and environmental groups, the Columbia River Gorge Commission has upheld a Wasco County decision to deny Union Pacific its permit to run additional rail lines through the town of Mosier, where one of its crude oil trains derailed and burned only a year ago.

The commission will issue its written decision on the matter by early September.

Fostering pride: Oregon seeks affirming foster homes for LGBTQ youths

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 07:00
The state is not only willing, but eager to work with LGBTQ couples as foster parents

Growing up LGBTQ can be tough. For kids growing up Oregon’s foster care system, it can be even tougher. 

From the time Rickey Bedolla was about 3 years old, he spent most his childhood in one Washington County foster home or another.

As he was becoming a teenager, he’d found a stable placement where he’d stayed for five years.

It was around age 13 that Bedolla began to question his sexual orientation. There was this boy at school, he said, that kind of “sparked it.”

Director’s Desk: The silent majority in Portland continue to work to help people experiencing homelessness

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 06:10
Portland continues to support people experiencing homelessness, Street Roots

In my time at Street Roots, I’ve watched readers do some amazing things for vendors. Readers helping organize first and last month’s rent for a vendor, doctors helping with surgeries, dentists helping people get dentures, people attending Alcohol Anonymous meetings with their favorite vendor and offering up presents during the holidays. The list goes on and on. 

One of the more beautiful things about Street Roots is that while we experience the trauma of homelessness collectively, we also witness the best of people and our community. 

Editorial cartoon: June 16, 2017

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 05:00

Portland native Elizabeth Considine is the creator of Street Roots' editorial cartoon, Sheeptoast. (Click or tap the image to enlarge it.)

Want to see more Sheeptoast cartoons? VIEW OUR GALLERY

Oregon bill would expand sanctuary protection for immigrants

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 01:13
The House bill would extend privacy measures to all public bodies, including local agencies

A bill aimed at further protecting undocumented immigrants in Oregon had its first legislative hearing June 8.

While its introduction comes late in the legislative session, its outlook is promising with backing from the governor and attorney general and with strong support from immigrants rights groups and the agriculture sector.

In mono-racial Portland, ‘white supremacists can hide in plain sight’

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 08:23
Southern Poverty Law Center’s Lecia Brooks explains how racists have become emboldened

Since the presidential election, “In Our America” signs have proliferated in front yards and windows across Portland, spreading messages of love and tolerance to passers-by. But to the casual observer, the messaging may obscure a newly energized underbelly of intolerance in this majority-white city. 

Elyn Saks fights mental-health stigma: 'We are not different from you'

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 07:07
The renowned scholar and author is coming to Portland to talk about her own experience with schizophrenia

One day, when she was 16, Elyn Saks abruptly got up from her desk, walked out of her classroom and left school. She headed home, but she could not explain to herself why. As she passed the houses in her neighborhood, the houses spoke to her – insulting, hostile words that reverberated in her brain. 

Street Roots vendor profile: Salesmen and goodwill ambassadors

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 06:42
Wally and Chauncey always work as a team; they describe themselves as “a pair of socks”

If you are lucky enough to happen upon Wally Moreland and Chauncey Trice’s Street Roots turf, consider yourself in for a memorable treat. In fact, stay awhile and talk if you can. I guarantee you will be inspired, entertained and moved by their kindness, generosity and spirit. 

The attack on labor unions – and why they matter

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 06:34
COMMENTARY | Improving our quality of life will require rebuilding union strength

Fewer workers are in unions now than in 1983, the earliest year in the Bureau of Labor Statistics series on union membership. In 1983 there were 17.7 million, 20.1 percent of the workforce. In 2016 the number had fallen to 14.6 million, or 10.7 percent of the workforce. While union membership rates in Oregon have been above the U.S. average, they have also followed the national trend, falling to 13.5 percent in 2016. 

After MAX attack, safety fears swell among Muslims, transit operators

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 06:04
Laila Hajoo, director of Islamic Social Services of Oregon State, says anti-Muslim rallies can have "trickle effect"

In Portland, like the rest of the nation, displays of hatred against Muslims is on the rise. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the United States tripled in 2016, from 34 to 101. And the FBI reported a 67 percent surge in attacks on Muslims in 2015, the latest data available, demonstrating levels not seen since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. 

Editorial cartoon: June 9, 2017

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 06:00

Portland native Elizabeth Considine is the creator of Street Roots' editorial cartoon, Sheeptoast. 

(Click or tap the image to enlarge it.)

Want to see more Sheeptoast cartoons? VIEW OUR GALLERY

Beyond soccer, Timbers' Diego Valeri is dedicated to social justice

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 16:35
The midfielder is a phenomenal athlete – with a bent for human rights, fine literature and rock ’n’ roll

El Maestro. El Rey. St. Valeri. Since arriving in Portland in 2013, Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri has accumulated an array of adoring nicknames. 

2 sides of Oregon's history: Exhibit juxtaposes discrimination, resistance

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 15:07
The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education plans a grand opening at its new location

On Sunday, June 11, the public is invited to peruse several captivating exhibits, free of charge, at the grand opening of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education’s permanent location in the Pearl District. 

The museum’s newly acquired building on the corner of Northwest Davis Street and Eighth Avenue is more than twice the size of its previous home in Northwest Portland. 

It includes a 100-seat auditorium, a gift shop, a café featuring Jewish deli items, a children’s play area and a dynamic two-story exhibition space for its core and rotating exhibits. 


Our Friends Speak About Street Roots

Street Roots is a journalistic gem. I feel lucky to have access to such high caliber investigative reporting with a strong community conscience. Combine the newspaper with Street Roots’ tremendous community organizing presence and the result is an irreplaceable social change resource.

- David Rogers, Executive Director, ACLU of Oregon