There are a couple of homeless person signs I’ve seen in my day (only one in San Francisco) that have made me turn my head twice and give somebody money. No, these aren’t the only times that I give homeless people money (impressive signs), but it certainly does help. Most of the time, it’s hard to tell who’s really homeless and who just has a good schtick going (my car broke down with my baby and my baby’s mama in it and a sandworm is about to swallow it if I don’t go back with 5 dollars – please missa can’t ya help me) so, per some sage advice, I’ve chosen a few charities to which I regularly donate and forgo giving money to people on the street.
But like I said, a few signs are great.
Yesterday, in front of Circuit City in San Francisco I saw a girl with a sign that said, “I have no excuse – I just need some help.” Good work on that one, but it doesn’t top my favorite homeless person sign, which I saw in Philadelphia a few years ago was a group of punk looking kids whose sign said, “I bet you a dollar you read this sign.” I gave them a dollar.
Honestly, though, if I was homeless I would never stay in Philadelphia or even San Francisco where it can be chilly and windy. I’d go south, probably to Florida. No, not to Miami – too big of a city. Probably to the middle of Florida where the weather never makes you suffer (well, freeze-to-death suffer because that humidity can be brutal) and there are always big suburban grocery stores with free samples. I’d also try to offer a service, like continually opening the door for everyone at a supermarket (this works better in a big city) and hoping that people appreciated the service enough to toss me their change. Just asking doesn’t work as well as earning it like that – at least in my book.
Somehow I doubt any homeless people have access to my blog, but just in case they are spending their change in an overpriced internet cafe reading, I would like to ask, What’s the best sign you ever made?
What’s the best sign you ever saw? What’s your policy on distributing money to the homeless? Do you ever feel like they’re not really homeless? Have you ever been homeless?