Tag Archives: Director’s Desk

A positive message always wins out

Street Roots is happy to announce we were honored at Northwest Pilot Projects’ (NWPP) annual event this year with a Community Service Award for outstanding achievement and service to Portland’s elderly, homeless and poor.

Since 1969, NWPP has been offering housing and service opportunities for a life of dignity and hope to Portland’s elderly, disabled, and homeless.  Each year, NWPP has successfully housed many Street Roots vendors, and we are indebted to their services. Continue reading

Readers give props for SR coverage, vendors

Street Roots’ recent readers survey asked Portlanders to chime in on important issues related to the organization. It was by no means scientific, but it does give us a snapshot of the people who support vendors and read the newspaper. Here is what we found out.

The vast majority of SR readers are college educated, and female. People of all ages support SR, but readers 21-35 have increased dramatically in the past two years since we last did a survey. Sixty-three percent of readers found out about the newspaper through an interaction with a vendor, while another 25 percent found out through a friend or word of mouth. That means by helping spread the word and introducing SR to your peer network, you can make a big difference.

More than 70 percent of those surveyed thought that SR was a window into their community, politically relevant and a strong advocate for people experiencing homelessness. Continue reading

Director’s Desk: Working on the big picture

By Israel Bayer

It’s no secret that Street Roots and  fellow grassroots community organizations have stepped up their focus to organize for additional revenue steams for housing. We happen to believe that a housing levy — either this year or shortly after, is a must have for the community.

In a time when the dismal economy continues to lag on, and more people continue to fall into poverty and homelessness — if Portland and the region doesn’t think big, we will continue to face more and more people sleeping in doorways and under bridges.

Beyond being a humanitarian crisis, without adequate resources, the rise in homelessness leads to more and more compounded problems that are products of homelessness itself; violence, addiction, tension. Law enforcement, neighborhoods and businesses become frustrated and seek short-term approaches that often times rely less on solutions and more on moving people around. It’s a quagmire and one that has been playing out on the streets since the mid-90s in Portland. We have to get over the hump, one way or another. Continue reading