Homeless Woman's Plea Brings Offers of Help

Homeless woman helped after asking Obama at rally
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2009 6:05 PM CST

(Newser) – A homeless woman who raised her hand during President Obama’s visit to Fort Myers did so because she needed help. But Henrietta Hughes probably didn’t expect to become the “face of the economic crisis,” as one brand-new website dedicated to the 61-year-old’s plight declared, CNN reports. "I have an urgent need, unemployment and homelessness, a very small vehicle for my family and I to live in," Hughes told Obama, who came off stage to give her a kiss and encouragement.

Hughes has received an offer to stay in a house owned by the wife of a state lawmaker, and other offers have followed. "I even received a phone call from a lady in Ocala wanting to offer her $50 a month,” said Fort Myers Mayor Jim Humphrey. Some conservative bloggers think the whole affair seems suspiciously stage-managed, but a health policy expert wrote on the Huffington Post that Hughes' request "only highlights issues of homelessness that will surely get worse."