According to CBS Local, well-meaning guy Anthony Bustos has tasked himself with revamping the signs of homeless people across San Francisco. Bustos's Twitter bio reads "I rolled past a panhandler holding a sign made from a box. The sign read: Broke & Hungry. This man didn't need money, he needed a better sign." I would argue that the man did indeed need money, but I can also see his point.
The signs Bustos gives out are bigger, clearer, and (arguably) funnier than the ones his recipients might have otherwise held. My favorite is "Law school isn't cheap," but others include "Hogwarts or bust," "Keanu Reeves is my homeboy," and "Everyone has a dream- mine includes you sparing some change." Bustos drives up to homeless people, asks if they'd like to pick one of his signs, and then takes their photo with their new poster board. Bustos says he also encounters people who choose not to abandon their own creations, as they sometimes feel those represent them more.
So far, Bustos has given out 15 signs and has more planned for the future. He told CBS that the project is as much about brightening the day of city commuters as it is about helping panhandlers make more money. Obviously, Bustos didn't invent clever pleas as a tactic for getting people's attention and cash, and distributing some quirky slogans is just a bandaid and not a solution to a more complicated and nuanced problem of homelessness in San Francisco. This seems to be a sincere attempt to brighten people's days and boost the earnings of people on the street, though.
It's hard to argue with someone who is trying to make people smile, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not conflicted about how something like this fails to address the larger structural issues that cause and sustain homelessness. If you want to do something to help alleviate the challenges of people living on the street, you can donate to the SF Food Bank or get involved with one of the many fantastic Bay area non-profits.
[Via: CBS Local]
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Photos by Anthony Bustos