Homeless Signs Examples

homeless signs

Reaching Out for Help

Homeless signs are often used as a last resort to reach out for help in desperate situations. Usually, these signs are created out of cardboard and other recyclable materials. They often communicate a person’s name, address, and a plee for help. Signs are typically placed at intersections and major walking thoroughfares where help is most likely to come. Homeless signs can be very effective in getting aid from sympathetic members of the public.

Humorous Approaches

A few individuals take creative approach to their signs in order to draw attention. Rather than being filled with words of desperation, humor can be used to convey a meaningful message. For example, some signs have been seen that refer to popular movies or music lyrics. These can be an effective way to make a unique statement while also communicating the need for help.

Common Descriptors

Most homeless signs share a few similarities. Usually, the sign will include a pronoun such as “I”, “Me”, “My”, or “We” to personalize the message to the author. Information about physical needs such as food, clothing, and shelter are common. In addition, many signs also include a plea for money.

High Visibility Locations

In order to maximize the impact of a sign, it should be placed in an area with high visibility. Locations such as busy intersections, major pedestrian crossways, and near other attractions often draw the most attention. Additionally, signs should be posted at regular intervals to increase the chances of help being offered.


Homeless signs are a desperate plea for help in the face of hardship. From humorous approaches to how and where to post, many factors come into play when creating a sign. With the right combination, these signs can be effective tool for reaching out for assistance.


Homeless Signs Examples

A Closer Look at Homeless Signs

Homeless signs are an essential part of the homeless experience. Whether it’s a plea for help or a way to express personal thoughts, these signs serve a variety of purposes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common signs seen in the streets.

Defining the Homeless Sign

At its core, the homeless sign is an expression of feelings and thoughts written on paper, canvas or cardboard. Hunger, health, loneliness, anger, and confusion are some of the emotions captured in the signs.

The origin of the sign can also provide a story. Most signs are homemade, and when there is no more available wheat-pasting glue, a greasy mixture of shortening and crushed potato chips is used. Tattered bits of cardboard and tape are signs of extreme poverty and need.

Types of Homeless Signs

There are three general categories of homeless signs and variations in content and design can depend on the individual who created the sign.

Reason for Sign

The reason or emotion behind the sign is the most common type. These signs focus on what the sign maker is looking for. Common requests are for food, work, a place to sleep and for medication.

Insightful Statement

Throughout society there is a stigma associated with homelessness and these signs are a way to provide an inside look into the daily thoughts and ideas of homeless people. These signs often provide a personal statement or phrase about the current state of their lives and are often handwritten with delicate penmanship.

Statement of Identity

Along with the stigma, there is also the thought that homeless people are invisible. These statements of identity are a way to be seen and a way to make the statement “I am here”. These signs are often printed on painfully bright neon paper and the messages talk about a lost life and relationship statuses.

The Power of Homeless Signs

Homeless signs are the ultimate means of communication for a homeless person because they are both public and unprotected. They can be seen from a distance and generate an awareness for those walking by that may not otherwise have engaged with the homeless person.

In addition to the physical signs, the effects of these signs can have long-term impacts on the homeless. Through the comments and notes that passers-by leave, along with the occasional donations, these signs can provide a sense of worth and humanity that can often be lacking.

Regardless of the nature of the signs, they are a reflection of the individuality that lives amidst the homeless.


– Dallas Homeless Handwritten Signs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ellyUiHX1uM&feature=youtu.be

– The Homeless Signs of New York: http://www.themunjoydivision.com/homeless-signs-new-york/

– The Handwritten Signs of the Homeless in San Francisco: http://www.streetnotes.org/street-note-archive/the-handwritten-signs-of-the-homeless-in-san-francisco/

Homeless Signs Examples

Impactful Signs of Homelessness

Homelessness is an issue that affects many individuals in cities all over the world. These individuals rely on signs and symbols to communicate their needs and wishes. As a result, these signs of homelessness have become a powerful way to spread awareness about the prevalence of homelessness in urban areas.

Forms of Homeless Signs

Homeless signs come in many forms. Some of the most common forms of signs for homeless people include cardboard signs, banners, stickers, shirts, and even trees. Signs can contain words, images, and slogans.

A Closer Look at Homeless Signs

Cardboard signs are perhaps the most iconic form of homeless signs and are used to communicate messages of hope or to advertise for donations. These signs are often presented with artful or witty slogans. Banners also serve to spread awareness, often with slogans that call for changes. Stickers are used to either advertise or to document locations where people have found help. The same goes for t-shirt designs. Finally, trees can also be adorned with ribbons or signs as a way of raising awareness.

Homeless Signs as A Platform For Positive Change

These signs of homelessness are more than just words and symbols. They are a way of giving a voice to those who have difficulty expressing themselves. Homeless signs provide an unusually visible expression of the homeless experience and the need for compassion. As a result, these signs provide an opportunity to raise awareness and potential support for those in need.

Make Change with Homeless Signs

Supporting homeless people does not need to be difficult. One way to make a difference is to recognize what homeless signs are saying and respond. This may be done by giving support or donations, offering kind words or assistance, and paying attention to homeless people’s experiences. By being mindful of homeless signs, we can show that everyone deserves kindness and respect.




Homeless Signs Examples

The Power of Visual Communication

Visual communication has long been used to share stories, truths, and experiences. Signs, symbols, infographics, and art work have been used to document and to share meaning with others. Homeless signs are an important tool in conveying to the public what is taking place and who is experiencing it.

History of Homeless Signs

Signs have been held up by people experiencing homeless to publicize their existence and predicament for many years. Over time, such signs have become part of the culture and the landscape of homelessness. Holders of homeless signs often start a conversation about homelessness and about the homelessness crisis in the United States.

Types of Homeless Signs

Homeless signs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, messages, and materials. Some of the most common types of homeless signs include:

  • Signs made out of cardboard
  • Signs made out of pens, markers, and paint
  • Signs made out of plastic and fabric
  • Signs with messages like “will work for food” or “need help”
  • Signs with messages that express feelings or ideas
The Meaning Behind the Messages

Homeless signs are meant to serve as a tool for individuals experiencing homelessness to make their voices heard. The messages on them often reflect the life stories of the people providing them, whether it is asking the public for help, sharing their feelings, or expressing their thoughts on homelessness and the issues that arise from it.


Homeless Signs Examples

Advice For Homeless Signs to Reach a Maximum Audience

Grab Attention Quickly

The first priority of any street sign should be to grab the attention of passersby quickly. For a homeless sign, this could be achieved by using affirmative words or phrases such as “Help Wanted”, “Will Work For Food”, or “Need a Hand”. Combining this with a design that stands out from the crowd can help ensure the sign gets seen and read.

Maintain Visual Balance

Ensuring good visual balance in a homeless sign will make it far easier to read. People’s eyes tend to be drawn to the biggest text and graphics first, so ensuring the lettering size and imagery can grab the attention of viewers in a positive way can be beneficial. An effective way to do this is by keeping text to simple, large headlines with concise informative messages that explain clearly what the sign is related to.

Use Creative Imagery

A creative image such as a symbol or cartoon character can grab viewer attention instantly. Adding a humorous twist to the symbol or character may be beneficial to establishing a favourable impression among viewers.

Choose the Right Colours

Colours can add significance to homeless signs. For instance, if the sign is about helping the homeless community it may be beneficial to select colours that are associated being positive and providing hope such as yellow or gold. On the other hand, darker colour such as black or grey may be better for signs that give warnings.

Choose Good Quality Materials

When making a homeless sign, using good quality materials can be beneficial. Weatherproof materials are particularly important if the sign is going to be used outdoors as this will ensure that it lasts longer.

Follow Design Rules

Following certain design rules when creating a homeless sign can be beneficial. This may include keeping the font type to a minimum, avoiding excessive lines and shapes, limiting background imagery, and keeping text to a minimum. Any text should be kept in an easy-to-read font size.

In Summary

A well-designed homeless sign should be eye-catching, visually balanced, use creative imagery, appropriate colours, good quality materials, and adhere to the design rules. Creating an effective homeless sign can make all the difference in connecting with potential benefactors.


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