It has been a long road, but Shayne Methvin is creating a better life for himself.
He was born at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, began reading around 3 years old and attended Chapman Elementary School.
“Grade school was easy for me,” Shayne said. “I loved to write, and I loved to read.”
His mother was unable to care for Shayne and his two siblings, and he drifted through foster homes for six years.
Shayne said that as the first born, he had a special bond with his grandmother, Helen Marie.
“So I’d go over there and I’d spend hours with her,” Shayne said. “Sounds kind of weird, but she would make homemade split pea soup and hot dog sandwiches. Love hot dog sandwiches with Best Foods mayonnaise.”
By the time Shayne returned to his mother and started high school, he was done with school.
“I was very good at music,” Shayne said. “By the time I was 14, 15, I already had a band. It was the heavy metal era, so we were Assassin. We were going to take over the world, you know?”
He told his mother: “Mom, I don’t need a high school diploma to be a rock star.”
Shayne’s band played at the Satyricon and the Battle of the Bands at the Starry Night Club, before it became the Roseland Theater. He later joined a rock ’n’ roll band, Solstice, that played around town.
“It was fun – the social part of it, not only the playing,” he said. “We were old enough to get a little tipsy and party. Thinking we were all that and a bag of chips.”
When Shayne ended up in a recovery house in Eugene, he realized he had a problem with drugs and alcohol.
“If it wasn’t for that house, the men in that house and the fellowship,” he said, “I don’t think I would probably be here today, to be honest with you. I went down a really hard road of drugs, and it was bad for a really long time.”
By the time Shayne was back in recovery, he was homeless.
“I used to panhandle,” he said. “These families were pulling up with their kids in the car, and the kids would hold out their hand with their money in it. Their parents would say, ‘Little Bobbie or Little Susie got this as a birthday gift, but they think it’s more important that you have it.’ And it ate me up. It’s hard right now just to say it.”
When Shayne started with Street Roots, he gave up panhandling.
“I’m proud to be a vendor at Street Roots,” said Shayne. “There is no embarrassment or shame for me at all. I wear my badge proudly with my picture on it.”
On weekdays, Shayne sells Street Roots from 4 to 9 p.m. at World Foods, on Northwest Ninth Avenue and Everett Street. On the weekends, he sells from noon to 4 p.m. in front of Regal Cinemas Fox Tower 10.
“I am working. I have a job, and people notice that,” Shayne said. “You know how good that feels? That people notice you’re doing something and they’re acknowledging that? That’s a huge reward.
“Street Roots has been a Godsend, a stepping stone and a catalyst for me. ... I started feeling better about myself and looking at what happened to me in the past. It’s like OK, I’m selling Street Roots now and the next step is to get off the streets. I started inquiring about housing and health insurance.”
Thanks to Shayne’s footwork and follow-up with Haven at Outside In and Central City Concern, he got keys to his apartment in January.
“I love Portland,” Shayne said. “Born and raised here. It’s my home, and I’m not leaving. I’m going to make what I can out of it by being a part of it.”