Saturday, March 28, 2009

Feeling Down and Out? Read On

Tim Edwards didn't have much to look forward to in his life. He didn't have much of a life at all, actually. Tim is homeless, he suffers from alcohol addiction and drug problems. He lives under a bridge in Houston, Texas where he panhandles for food and money every day. Charity is what Tim survives on and a very strange charity is what has changed his life.

One day, as Tim panhandled near the freeway, (close to where he lives) he was approached with a unique proposition by father and son marketing duo, Sean and Kevin Dolan.

Sean and Kevin saw Tim, holding up a sign near a busy freeway that read, "Hungry, Need a day's work." Tim told Kevin and Sean that he had been homeless for the past four years and that he knew what time the freeways were 'hittin.' They asked if he would hold up a sign with their website http://WWW.PIMPTHISBUM.COM for $100 a day, guaranteed. Not a bad gig for someone who panhandles for a living.

Tim agreed and the traffic began rolling in. The outpour of support for Time was incredible. People were given the option to donate specific items to Tim, which inculded: a cup of coffee, a ham sandwich, laser hair removal, karate lessons and more.

Tim received more. He was given another shot at life through this website and through the campaign. Tim has landed himself in a Seattle alcohol rehab clinic and reunited with family he thought were lost years ago. *tear* He is also receiving training on how to use the internet to search for jobs and develop new skills that will get him on his feet.

Some interesting stats about the site:

It raised $50,000, a flight to Seattle from Southwest Airlines and Sunray paid for Tim's rehab.

From rehab, Tim participated in a chat room where he could engage with the thousands of people who have expressed their affection for him. It also gave him an opportunity to thank everyone for their support. *another tear* is a unique marketing and social engagement campaign that have received a lot of heat from homeless advocates. The website has been called degrading, insensitive and exploitative. Homeless advocates claim this website does nothing to address the issue of homelessness in America.

Tim feels differently, seeing as how he is homeless, lives in America and thousands and thousands of people frequent this site to find out how they can help.

Personally, I think the campaign is effective and obviously successful. Did Sean and Kevin save a hundred homeless people? No, but did they positively change the life of a man who was truly down and out? Yes.

Check out the site, and let us know if you think the website is good or bad.

FYI, today (March 28) is Tim Edwards 38th birthday. He has been sober for 18 days.

Infocredit. CNN.Com,Hubspot


Black said...

Great post big guy. Makes you stop and think about some shit. It's weird because while I was reading this I started thinking of Everlast's - What its like and then when I checked out the site it was playing. Money tune and I have to agree that Sean and Kevin have found themselves something successful.

Laura said...

i like...

i dont think I agree with the criticisms at all... helping one person is better than not helping any!

((())) said...

i think this is a really touching story. however, i think that this kind of thing is yet another example of government responsibilities being downloaded onto citizens. im all for people helping each other, but why is the government not taking care of the homeless? why is it that citizens have to take money from their own pockets to help a man get back on his feet? is this not what government is for? if people on CNN love this story so much, why are they not in favour of higher taxes and social spending? people like to read about these types of stories, but once they are finished with the days paper or internet story they go back to their greedy little lives not giving a fuck about the homeless. homelessness and poverty are social problems. there are clear social determinants, yet people still continue to die of malnutrition, etc. its ridiculous.

its this sort of idea why im not totally on board with the environmental movement anymore. why is is that citizens are being saddled with responsibility for climate change when the biggest carbon footprints are being left by corporations that have been legally allowed by our governments to over pollute the earth in the name of commerce?

if climate change and the recent global economic collapse arent enough for people to realize that small government doesnt work, i think we are pretty doomed.

stop voting conservative and liberal if you like this story.

emjay said...

i think the public has a responsibility to act and create social change. gov't is restrained by bureaucracy, they couldn't create a service that appeals to people in a way that can. like it says in the cnn article, people won't react to a help the type of initiative. there has to be incentive. creativity like this couldn't be performed by gov't simply because they can't afford to not be PC. therefore the most creative social action tools will always be created by the public, not as a downloaded responsibility but as a expansion of human capacity.

emjay said...

edit: an expansion