Street People Celebrate One Year on the Street

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Being on the street for a year is not a reason to celebrate, unless you are the creators of http://www.street-people.com. The website which generated angry comments from charitable organizations and individuals when it was launched celebrated it's 1 year anniversary by posting more stories and photos about the panhandlers, bums, and hobos, that hustle the office workers and tourist for change everyday. Now the creators have picked the "Street Person of the Year" buying them a free fried chicken lunch and telling the winning panhandlers story of how they where left homeless to beg on the streets by Bill Cosby and Hulk Hogan.

Being on the street for a year is not a reason to celebrate, unless you are the creators of http://www.street-people.com. The website which generated angry comments from charitable organizations and individuals when it was launched celebrated it's 1 year anniversary by posting more stories and photos about the panhandlers, bums, and hobos, that hustle the office workers and tourist for change everyday.

Two downtown office workers launched the site to draw attention to the issue of the chronic panhandling, "We thought by doing this people would see that what might appear to be an minor annoyance was really a serious issue impacting tourism revenue and costing the city money as police are called to deal with this continual problem." commented the founders, "Maybe groups that provided services to street people would rethink if these services where really helping if they could see the stories about why some of these people are on the street and would change how they addressed the problem in our city."

Still after a year the creators have found no end to the string of street people to feature on the site. "We hoped our site would show that giving panhandlers change is not going to change their condition. We have heard a hundred times from the panhandlers that their goal is simply to get enough money to get food, a bottle and cigarettes." Based on stories featured on the site the panhandling appears to be a growing problem. No longer are the panhandlers just in downtown areas but according to the report on http://www.street-people.com they are at every highway exit ramps ringing a major city and in the suburbs as well.

The satirical website features interviews with street people to expose how panhandlers are simply hustlers telling elaborate stories to tourist and locals to part them with their money. The creators have been featured several times on Rock 103, interviewed by local newscasts, and have inspired bloggers to create local panhandling forums. The site has become an internet hit spawning a following. The creators traveled to Massachusetts to be featured guests on the Bax & O'Brian morning show, then spent the day followed by reporters from the newspaper and an ABC affiliate to interview street people in their city. "Our most shocking media moment was when a magazine from Dallas asked us to write a monthly column" added one of the founders.

In celebration of the 1 year anniversary the site has been posting a series of new stories about street people. These stories culminated on Friday, August 31 , 2007 when http://www.street-people.com named their "Street Person of the Year". "We thought we should recognize the street person who gave us the best story about how they ended up on the street,." commented one of the founders," and when their story involves Bill Cosby, Hulk Hogan, and Michael Jackson picking the winner is easy."

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Wayne Andrews
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