Sign of the Times is the recent project of a New York City artist/activist named Andres Serrano. Mr. Serrano went around the Big Apple asking to purchase the cardboard signs used by people begging in the street. The result is this: a rather profound short movie.
The point is that any approach to poverty worth anything requires creativity and respect.
image: via YouTube
We aren’t saying that older, centralized urban hubs should be ossified on behalf of the poor. But these ideas to manipulate and reposition socio-economic groups are no better than deliberate neighbourhood busting via highway projects or gentrification, are they? Where’s the balance? Linked here is an item from the Guardian for just such a scheme that would see people incentivized from London to the much smaller community of Hull on the North Sea.
London’s homeless could be forced to move as far as Hull: housing shortage could create exodus from capital as councils search for cheaper rents, charities warn
photo credit: MichaelMaggs via Wikimedia Commons
Usually where there is a homeless population of any size there will appear at least one weekly charity newspaper sold by the homeless and focussing on that issue. The idea is to restore some measure of positive socio-economic activity to the life of people in severe difficulty. In Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville, the police have apparently cited individuals for selling a paper called The Contributor. I thought they had a Constitution down there?