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Street Roots — published weekly in Portland, Oregon  —
has been Portland's flagship publication addressing
lessness and poverty since 1998.  


Extra! Extra! Today's issue of Street Roots has hit the streets. This week, we bring you the story of Gregor Gog, an early-20th-century European anarchist, organizer of a vagabond congress, and editor of the first street paper.

Plus: Vendors share their gratitude and their hopes for the new year; a look back at some of our favorite conversations of 2019; and more. 

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Catch up on our stories from last week's issue:
Oregon delegates to join legal fight against Trump food-stamp cuts
Pulling assistance from people who are struggling to find jobs is ‘not the Oregon way,’ Sen. Wyden says
Vigil for people who died homeless bring together housed and unhoused
The event, on the longest night of the year, provides a space for mourning and challenge people to help build a just community
SAFES has a new look and a new vibe
After a four-month closure, the Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter opens its renovated facility with a bevy of new programs
The house that Vern – and you – built
DIRECTOR'S DESK | Vern didn't like to branch out – until he found a safety net at Street Roots
Portland has reduced police force against people with mental illness? Hardly
COMMENTARY | The DOJ settlement resulted in training, but that wasn’t the solution we needed
Street Roots vendor profile: I want to give the world a hug
Pops is proud to be earning money through Street Roots, as well as by making and selling bracelets
Remembering Lori De Tie and her zest for life
A memorial for Lolo is planned at the Street Roots office
You might also like these stories we've covered:
 20 YEARS OF STREET ROOTS: This year, we marked our 20th anniversary with a special issue reflecting on two decades of our vendor program, our advocacy and our journalism.
 LIFE ON THE STREETS: Whether it's waiting in line, enduring inclement weather, or getting from here to there, these are the parts of homelessness most people don't talk about.
 BREAKING THE SILENCE: As part of a statewide media collaboration on Oregon's suicide crisis, Street Roots explored the connection between eviction and suicide.

Thank you for your support!

Suicide claimed the lives of more than 800 people last year, and with this series, titled Breaking the Silence, we hope to provide both research and resources for helping people who are in crisis.  Read here about how one Oregon county has been successful in addressing the link between eviction and suicide. This and other stories throughout the week will be available at


The connection between eviction and suicide

Street Roots Understanding the link has created opportunities for training and prevention in Oregon by Amanda Waldroupe | 5 Apr 2019 “Breaking the Silence” is a statewide media collaboration aimed at putting a spotlight on the public health crisis of suicide in Oregon and offering our readers, l... 

A list of the dead... Killed by PDX police officers... 

Review the complete list of Metro PDX Critical Incidents — 1969-2015 

Of 171 people killed by police, the public record identified:

Of 129 people injured by police, or shot at but not hit:

This was my first time seeing a posting resulting from the intergovernmental agreement between the city of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation, because the city had only begun doing “camp clean-ups” of ODOT land this month. Bettyjo and David were living on this land for months, and were only being swept now. Bettyjo gave me a tour of her home – a mattress set up inside an organized tent, their black cat, Bubba, lounging on the neatly made bed. Outside, plywood served as patio space, a small tarp stretched over a chair and a cat scratching post. The perimeter of their campsite was decorated by small stacks of rock cairns created by their Basque neighbor, they said, as well as a ring of rocks around the tent David created to cast what he described as a protective, peaceful space. Together they lift a brown tarp draped over the tent, revealing, in white spray-paint, a graffitied message: “Go home.”

“The irony of that is that this is my home. I was born right here in this city,” said David.

“Home is where you have love and peace,” Bettyjo continued. “Where you share bread and talk about the day. It doesn’t matter whether you have a roof or not.” She gestured toward the tent, which they planned to pack up the next day.

“This is my home.” I returned the next day to a very different scene. Bettyjo and David's tent was gone.

...   The Oregon legislature passed the intergovernmental agreement last February, and the city of Portland worked out the details in recent
months. I had hoped that at least there would be some consistency around the communication, because now both jurisdictions would use the same warning period: Authorities come (usually city contractors Pacific Patrol Services and Rapid Response) between two and 10 days after the initial posting. The city of Portland tracks with more transparency. Now I have a nagging concern, one that I'll explore in the months ahead. The notice that David showed me was posted on Dec. 28, 2018. The intergovernmental agreement began on Jan. 1, 2019. The moment that the city of Portland had the jurisdiction to sweep, they did. 

Would this mean that the city of Portland will clear camps from ODOT land with increased efficiency? One of the first camps they selected had three Street Roots vendors living there, opening a window to access I might not have had. Now I'm watching and tracking. Meanwhile, this little community is dispersed with few options and new worries.

Update: While the camp was posted with an ODOT sign, it is not ODOT land. It is Multnomah County land that the city of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services manages as a stormwater collection area.

Kaia Sand is the executive director of Street Roots. You can reach her at Follow her on Twitter @mkaiasand.

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