Tag Archives: Street Roots vendors

Vendor Profile: ‘It’s not the cards you’re dealt, it’s how you play them’

by Cole Merkel, Contributing Writer

At 19 years old, Jacob Anderson may look young, but a difficult past has forced him to grow and brought him a lot of wisdom in the process. “I’ve said it many times before: It’s not the cards you’re dealt, it’s how you decide to play them,” Jacob says. “I could see myself doing so much better than being at a homeless shelter, and slowly I’m taking that step to making it in society.” Continue reading

Vendor portraits — what does SR mean to you?

Street Roots has more than 250 vendors experiencing homelessness and poverty that sell the newspaper each year to improve their quality of life.

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Faces of Street Roots from the photography show

Click here to see: Faces of Street Roots

It’s difficult to imagine the range of work, the variety of skills, the spread of personalities and the constantly shifting environment that are part of publishing and distributing a paper like Street Roots.

These portraits were all taken in the Street Roots office on 2nd and Davis. When vendors stopped in to buy papers, and maybe grab a morning cup of coffee, I asked them for a minute to shoot a photo. While volunteers were copy-editing, staff were doing layout or board members came by the office I shot them as they were. I taped a piece of black canvas on the wall, used an office lamp for light, and captured these faces on film.

There were always folks around, often watching, as people stood to have their portrait taken. It can be awkward to have your likeness photographed unexpectedly in this way, doubly so in a busy office or at early hours of a rough morning. I’m thankful that people with much to do, or who weren’t feeling their best, indulged me and my odd-looking camera.

This series is by no means complete, there are many, many more members of the Street Roots team. These images are just a sample of the diverse faces, expressions and personalities that are a part of this organization. I hope they offer a glimpse of the complexity and humanity involved in making Street Roots a reality and getting it into the hands of its readers.

– John Ryan Brubaker