Texas artist in Milwaukee on nationwide homeless sign buying tour
MILWAUKEE - An artist from Texas is stopping in Milwaukee Tuesday and Wednesday to buy signs from homeless people.
"We are in the midst of a 31 day, 24 city, cross-country homeless sign buying trip, which is part of a larger art project that's been going on for many years, " explained Willie Baronet, who's also a professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
It's called "We Are All Homeless." Baronet has collected about 130 signs on his latest trip so far.
"Overall, I probably have between 600 and 700 signs."
He expects to arrive in Milwaukee Tuesday night. He and his crew will drive the city's streets looking for homeless people.
"If I see someone with a sign, I literally will pull up to them and roll my window down and ask them if I can buy their sign. And 99 percent of the time they are very happy to sell me their sign," said Baronet.
His goal is, in part, to raise awareness and compassion for people who live on the streets.
"Part of this is really about me figuring out my own thoughts about what home means and what it means to be homeless."
Baronet is making a documentary and writing a book about his experiences.
"I've really gotten to learn some specifics about the circumstances of so many different people and I realize it's just impossible to put them in a box, that everybody's got a different story," said Baronet.