Hip SF Guy Gives Panhandlers New Signs
Anthony Bustos tries to help homeless with better signage
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2014 3:50 PM CDT
A panhandler at work.   (AP Photo/The Brownsville Herald, Jason Hoekema)

(Newser) – Would you give change to a homeless guy carrying the shabby sign, "Poor, hungry"? San Francisco social entrepreneur Anthony Bustos saw such a man and "had no inclination to give alms" to him, he says—but realized he might feel differently if he'd seen a better sign. So Bustos created new signs and drove around town giving them to panhandlers, CBS San Francisco reports. Among his messages:

  • "Law School Isn't Cheap"
  • "Someone Thinks You're Sexy"
  • "Hogwarts or Bust"
  • "The Government Stole My Sunscreen"

But giving away the hip messages isn't always easy: "The reactions have been mixed and have taught me a lot about homeless culture, and the individuals that are behind the signs," says Bustos. Some get the joke, while others are mentally ill, belligerent, or proud of the sign they already made. "They don’t want a sign that I made, because it doesn’t represent them as individuals." Others are thankful, and one said the new sign has attracted photo ops with tourists, KLTV reports. Now Bustos' friends are getting involved by making their own signs or phrases: "We don’t always have to change the world," Bustos says. "We can do something small to make a small difference, and that’s OK." (Read about a man who posed as homeless and gave away $1,000).

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
specialk
Jul 10, 2014 12:46 PM CDT
Fascinating - blame the Republicans for every ill in CA and the US, but not one comment on individual responsibility. If you make choices (drugs/alcohol, etc.) but accept no responsibility for the consequences, whose fault is that? Democrats want to lower the bar for everyone & legislate equality for everyone , be it income/health/wealth et al. Inasmuch as the Demo's have controlled CA for so long, with such miserable results - whoops, I forgot, free educational tuition for illegal Mexicans, Drivers Licenses (do they give the test in Spanish? . . .( how long till the road signs are bilingual?), subsidized housing, and on and on. Let the Liberals give their money away (as if they really earned it). I say give them all the alcohol and drugs they want - it will hasten their demise and we'll be free of the problem. Oh yeh, then we'll go after liberals next. It is not as if we'll miss them.
libproud
Jul 5, 2014 7:24 PM CDT
Closing comment....."For the grace of God go I" All of you asshats bashing the homeless,need to wake up and smell the coffee.After 1980,your country was turned into a Reagan era ponzi scheme, w/ the already loaded at the controls.You voted for this crap.Now you want to bash the resulting poverty and homeless????? Gawd Almighty!!!!
libproud
Jul 5, 2014 7:04 PM CDT
Hip SF Guy??? LMFAO!!!! five times. The douchbag probably thinks that Huey Lewis and the News is hip.Vanilla Fudge,1967,first album......now that is hip!!!! Youtube works well in case the vinyl is worn out.