New homelessness awareness ads go up on Muni

homeless
Photo by Lynn Friedman

A new ad campaign designed to break stereotypes of homeless people is scheduled to go up on Muni buses and BART stations starting today, according to SFGate. The ad campaign was commissioned by the Coalition on Homelessness, and shows “clean, normally dressed, pleasant looking people who are homeless,” the SFGate post says.

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The ads also include facts like “Most homeless S.F. residents were residents before they were homeless.” (According to the most recent homeless count, 61 percent of homeless people in the city were living in San Francisco when they became homeless.)

Another ad shows a mother holding a little girl with the line, “There are enough homeless children in San Francisco to fill 35 Muni buses.” (The school district estimates there are 2,100 homeless kids in the city’s public schools.)

“We want people to see pictures of people who are homeless and think, ‘Gee, that’s weird. They don’t look homeless to me,’” [Matthew] Gerring[, a coalition staffer] said. “We’re attempting to catch people off guard by getting at their heartstrings, which is how you change people’s minds.”

The ads will be up for about a month. Let us know if you see one and it causes you to rethink your attitudes toward the homeless in our city.

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