Over 70 active vendors buy and resell Street Roots in the Portland metropolitan area and Vancouver. Between 14,000 and 20,000 newspapers are sold each month.
What do vendors selling the newspaper and Street Roots do?
• Empower more than 300 homeless and low income individuals to secure immediate and basic needs each year
• Providing a path to self sufficiency, including skill development and resume building
• Fostering self-respect and a sense of personal worth
• Creating a safe avenue to build cross-class relationships and facilitate dialogue
• Informing and educating the general public about issues of homelessness and poverty
• Bringing you alternative news you can’t find anywhere else
How can you support vendors? Buy and read the newspaper! Street Roots Vendors can be found at busy crossroads throughout the Portland metropolitan area and at special events and farmers markets.
If you are a vendor, supporter, business owner or a member of the general public and would like to report an incident with a vendor please fill out this form and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to a vendor story: You’re not the bum on the corner.
Check out stories of people selling the newspaper at the Vendor Corner:
Vendor’s lives through a camera’s eye:
Becoming a Vendor
Vendor orientations take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1PM in the Street Roots office at 211 NW Davis. Vendor applicants must attend a one-hour training orientation to earn a badge certifying them as a Street Roots Vendor. You won’t be turned away as long as you are not under the influence during the orientation. As a new vendor you are given 10 papers to sell, on the house, to kickstart sales.
Vendors purchase papers for 25¢ each and sell them for $1 each. The high and continually improving quality of the paper makes Street Roots an easy sell in the community.
Many Street Roots vendors are homeless and living on the street. Selling the paper enables them to look forward to another day. For quite a few of our vendors, selling Street Roots is the sole lifeline keeping them healthy and sane. Selling the paper has enabled scores of our vendors to put homelessness behind them.
Selling Street Roots for just a few hours can generate as much income as a full day of back-breaking labor, so it’s no wonder that most of our vendors pursue this as a full-time endeavor. People who are unable to secure any other type of employment, whether due to chemical dependency, disability, a troubled history, or circumstance, welcome the opportunity to invest in themselves by selling Street Roots.
Our Writer’s Group helps vendors acquire the literary skills to compose and publish their work. Many Street Roots vendors regularly contribute poetry, art, and stories to the paper. A number of vendors have joined the staff as writers and columnists.
Vendors play a lead role in guiding the future of the organization. Vendors regularly hold meetings of a special council to resolve issues and disputes of key concern to those selling the paper.
Street Roots provides a 30-minute training video introducing new vendors to the organization. The training video also provides sales and marketing tips, how to work with local businesses and provides details on sales locations throughout Portland.