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: Over 70 active vendors buy and resell Street Roots in the Portland metropolitan area. More than 250 vendors sell the newspaper during the course of a year. Collectively, more than 20,000 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 more than 250 homeless and low income individuals to secure immediate and basic needs each year
  • 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.”

Vendor Profile

Glen Hansen

By Ann-Derrick Gaillot, Contributing Writer

Glen Hansen sees himself as somewhat of a nomadic person, having lived all over the US, Canada and Europe (he is fluent in Danish) before settling in Portland last August.

“I don’t grow roots well, so I migrate a lot,” says Glen, whose travels have taken him far from his hometown of Detroit.

“I grew up listening to Motown, disco and KISS,” he says. Glen admits he has found it hard to settle in one place, but he regrets nothing.

Our Friends Speak About Street Roots

It was Street Roots who spoke up against federal housing cuts and saved the homes of low income families in Northwestern Oregon.   It was Street Roots who spoke out on behalf of tenants being displaced from the West Hotel in downtown Portland and won them enhanced relocation benefits.   It is Street Roots who helps us understand the dilemmas of the street cop by publishing a regular article by a police officer.  It is Street Roots leading the charge against proposed cuts to state welfare benefits for low income families.   It is Street Roots reminding us that increasing the supply of affordable apartments is the surest path to reducing homelessness.  Street Roots is the conscience of the community and extraordinarily effective in its advocacy efforts for the poor and homeless.   This paper is truly a community treasure.

- Bobby Weinstock, Northwest Pilot Project