This year, the Housing Alliance gained a new member: Street Roots. Street Roots is the newspaper sold by, and occasionally written by folks who are homeless. We are thrilled to have Street Roots as a member and partner.
While they are most known for their paper and their vendors across town who sell the newspaper, Street Roots is much more than a newspaper. They give a voice to people experiencing homelessness—printing articles, poetry and stories written by or about their vendors and others living on the streets. People selling the newspaper are employed by Street Roots, and seventy-five cents of every dollar that purchases a paper goes to the vendor.
Street Roots also helps people experiencing homelessness in other ways as well: They publish the Rose City Resource Guide—a guide to services and assistance across the City that includes health care, meals, housing and more.
Street Roots also advocates for people experiencing homelessness—at the City, County and State level. They bring the voice of those experiencing homelessness to their advocacy, and speak out for additional resources for safe, stable and affordable housing for everyone.
The Housing Alliance will soon be starting a listening tour of its members and others working to meet the needs of low income Oregonians. Over the next seven months, we will be looking to expand the voices of those concerned about the lack of safe, stable and affordable housing for all Oregonians. We will also be looking to continue our work to document the affects of the economic recession, and the effects of the 2011–2013 budget, passed by the Legislature this session, on our neighbors.
Street Roots’ Director Israel Bayer says “Street Roots is proud to be joining the Housing Alliance, and to help foster a better understanding of housing and homeless issues with our readers and the general public. Street Roots has the benefit of communicating to a broader audience, and helping build a narrative on housing and homelessness to folks outside of the traditional base. It’s a win-win.”
We are excited to have an organization like Street Roots join the Housing Alliance and begin to build the power that we need to ensure housing is a top priority for the Legislature in coming sessions. We’re also looking forward to working with Street Roots on our other efforts—messaging, TANF, and other efforts. A huge thanks to Street Roots, and their Director, Israel Bayer.