PORTLAND, Ore. -- Street Roots newspaper plays an integral part in the lives of both Sean Sheffield and Israel Bayer.
For Bayer, it is a passion; a lifestyle that goes beyond the last 15 years he has spent with the newspaper.
For a self-described “kid from the block” it is a chance to offer a voice to those struggling to find their own. It is a way to open the doors of self confidence and self sufficiency to people who are often invisible to those of us lucky enough to have a roof over our heads.
It isn’t just a job, its a lifestyle, and in two months, he will be leaving to take a well-deserved break.
To Sean Sheffield, Street Roots is his break. A break from the exclusion of homelessness.
While many people still avert their eyes while they walk by, he holds his head high because he knows he is a part of the fabric of Portland. He knows he is putting in an honest day's work, but he also knows that at the end of that day, he is going back to sleep on the street.
Becoming a Street Roots vendor has allowed Sean to save enough money buy all his own meals. He doesn’t need to rely on the charity of others for nourishment which is something he is proud of. But he knows there is still more out there for him and Street Roots has helped put that light back in his sky.
Street Roots provides something different for all of us. For some it's a job, for others it’s a calling, but for many it’s a look into what life could be should the ball bounce the other way.