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.

Staff

Street Roots Staff

Desmond Hardison

Desmond is one of the founding fathers of Street Roots, here from day one as a vendor. Desmond helped create the organization's first mission statement and the first Street Roots board. Desmond was also the principal fundraiser for Street Roots in the early days. "I love people, Street Roots and my co-workers. Oh, and my family!" Desmond is a disabled veteran living in Portland Oregon.

Cole Merkel

Cole Merkel moved to Portland in 2010 to be a Jesuit Volunteer, first at Operation Nightwatch, then at Street Roots. He was hired by SR the day his JV term ended and now oversees all aspect of the vendor program as Vendor Program Director. A native of the Great Lakes State, Cole holds a Bachelor's Degree in History and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.

 cole [at] streetroots [dot] org  |  @colemerkel

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Our Friends Speak About Street Roots

Street Roots and its writers and vendors are an invaluable part of our community's fabric. Social justice is only within our grasp only when we all participate in learning about, supporting, and fighting for this mission. Street Roots is a daily reminder, on blocks throughout Portland, that we are all in this together.

- Mara Zepeda, co-founder, Switchboard
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