I usually do not give money to people on the street. I guess it's just hard for me to trust that the money would go toward food or shelter and not be used for drugs or alcohol.
I did give money to the fellow above, since he graciously allowed me to take a photo. He preferred that his face not be shown.
I haven't seen more needy people on the streets but I have seen more needy people bearing signs, for some reason? The signs say different things. Some are clever, like the one above. Some are descriptive, letting passersby know the needy person's history. Signs help the sign bearer connect with the world.
The Times wrote that Gay Talese, a well-known writer, handed out special signs to people in need, that said "Please Support Pres. Obama’s Stimulus Plan, and begin right here … at the bottom … Thank you." I haven't seen these particular signs, but now I'll be on the lookout.
You can read the Times article here.
Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, Light 'Em Up and Signs of Hope.