And so, he got an idea: "Each week I head out and meet someone new. I then spend the week hand lettering a new sign for them. Once I give them the sign I wait another week and then ask them if they noticed any difference in awareness."
Here's Fred, one of the first homeless people who took advantage of the new sign offer, and he saw benefits almost immediately. In fact, Fred reported that he'd "been receiving at least one compliment a day and sometime he'll even get three or four in a single day. He also noted that every compliment resulted in a donation."
This is Ulysses, another homeless veteran. When asked later what effects the sign had, Ulysses confirmed that it was definitely helping. A woman even approached him and asked where he got it, and Ulysses "told her that he had made the sign and that she could hire him to make some."
Though she seemed happy enough when she got the new artwork, unfortunately not everything ends up like in the movies. When our designer returned a couple weeks later, Shely admitted "she wasn't using the sign." But, on the plus side, she was a third of the way toward her goal for the bus ticket.
Next we have Scottie. His sign's simple message is made much more powerful by the dramatic font choice. When asked how it had been working out, Scottie confirmed that it was indeed helping. And when asked where he got it, "Scottie said he told them a friend made it for him."
As Mandrel's sign indicates, it's tough on the streets of Chicago. Each day, she hopes to earn $30 in order to afford a room for the night. Our anonymous artist hoped that his contribution might help her get closer to that goal.
Ultimately, our anonymous blogger's experiment was cut short when he abruptly announced that he was moving from Chicago. However, the final update came with good news, too, as Fred (the first person featured in this list) informed the designer that he was about to start a new job!
Was Fred's employment a direct result of that nice new sign? Probably not. But, we can only imagine that, for someone who was down on his luck, it was nice to get some actual help and attention, even with something as small as a cardboard sign. And we're sure Fred's going to pay that kindness forward as he starts his new life off of the streets.