Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Homeless Ambassadors

Who better to ask directions from in unfamiliar streets than those who make them their home?
 
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My suggestion for municipal govenments is to allow the homeless to become special "Abassadors" to the city who can hand out maps and give directions to suburbanites and tourists to the city. They can be given ID tags that say "Need directions? Ask me, I'm homeless!" This function will give the homeless an alternative to panhandling because people will surely spare some change for this necessary service. Plus, during large events in the city when international attention is drawn, the homeless will not be looked upon with as much disgust. And tourists will return to the home city and say, "The homeless in _____ are so friendly and helpful; I was lost and they gave me directions, I must return there some day."
ImBack, Aug 20 2002

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       Wearing a nametag saying, "Ask me, I'm homeless!" (I'm thinking of a cheery voice here) would be one of the most awful put-downs anyone would ever have to endure. As if the poor person already doesn't endure enough criticism and disgusted looks from passersby, making them wear these nametags would probably anger many because of the snickering of the tourists "asking" for help or directions.   

       BTW, I'm fishboning the idea just for putting that in there. Otherwise it's a reasonably good idea.
Bert6322, Aug 21 2002
  

       What a wonderfully anal comment(said in a cheery voice)! I was merely satirizing my own idea. Very Juvinalian, I know, but this idea was written in good fun. Sometimes it helps to laugh at unbearable social problems which seem to have no serious solution.
ImBack, Aug 21 2002
  

       HAHA AIDS! HAHA Terrorism! HAHAHA!... wait, it's not working...
Mr Burns, Aug 21 2002
  

       Through satire... And I wouldn't consider either AIDS or TERRORISM social problems, they are much greater, more complex problems. Crime would be an example of just one social problem that is satirized constantly and laughed at, inequity is another, parity, racism, sexism, ism after ism, lessness after lessness.
ImBack, Aug 21 2002
  
      
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