Thursday, October 29, 2009

The "WE ARE ALL HOMELESS" Project - an introduction

This project began in 1993 when I started buying and collecting signs from the homeless. (More on that in the description of the art show HOME?) Over the past few years I have developed art work using the signs, which became focused while I was pursuing an MFA in Arts & Technology at UTDallas.

In the Fall 2009 semester we were challenged to develop an art project that would be interventionist in nature, meaning that it would cause some interruption in our daily lives, which resulted in the development of WE ARE ALL HOMELESS.

It began as a series of "flash mob happenings," where a few dozen people holding up authentic homeless signs converged on an intersection or other public location (2009-2010). Since then the project has resulted in a number of art installations and projects, some of which are described in this blog. In 2012 I presented a TEDx talk about the project. And in July of 2014 we began a 31-day, 24 city cross country trip buying signs from as many homeless people as possible, and making a documentary about the process.

The purpose of the project is to raise awareness about homelessness, and to change the preconceived ideas many people have about the homeless and their situations.

This blog has links to Dallas area homeless shelters and support networks, and below is more information about the project, related art projects, and homelessness in general. If you are interested in participating, leave a comment on this blog and your contact information.

Thanks and blessings for your interest in helping the homeless.

Willie Baronet


  1. Willie: Great job. I would, however, like to remind all of you of the number of homeless teens in Dallas --1,200 on any given night. Please include Promise House, Inc. in your agencies that need help. We serve homeless and runaway teens. You can check us out at It would be very powerful to have some teens in your project, as they are the next generation of chronically homeless adults if we don't help them now!

    Dr. Harriet Boorhem, President
    Promise House, Inc.
    224 W. Page Ave.
    Dallas, TX 75208

  2. WB, great job. thank you for bringing the homeless awareness to our attention. It is sadly so real. I am humbled. KB

  3. Dr. Boorhem, thanks for the note and Promise House has been added! :-)

  4. Willie, I wish I had known sooner about the flash mob event this last Saturday. W\It was on Moonlady the day of the event so too late.

    I did look at the videos and had a recurring thought with each. If the people holding signs are the representations of homeless people in that we are all homeless, it would be more appropriate if those people were not holding expensive camera equipment (except for the actual filmmaker),sipping on Starbucks fraps and sitting around the Cafe Express fountain. The purpose is awareness and the only thing that should be seen are people holding signs as if they were homeless and the filmmaker shooting from in front of them, not behind where no signs are visible. It should be the view point of the people who pass the homeless without a look each and every day. Just an opinion and thanks for the work.

  5. This is such a great project to help raise awareness! I would ask that you include Central Dallas Ministries as one of the organizations to donate to/volunteer with.

    We work with various populations that are at-risk for being homeless (youth aging out of foster care, for instance), received federal funds to give to homeless prevention and rapid rehousing (basically some bridge money to be able to keep their house), and of course we have our permanent supportive housing initiatives that are geared toward housing the formerly homeless.

    You can learn more at and or you can contact me directly at

    Katie Goldberg
    Manager of Donor Relations

  6. How much do you pay for each homeless sign?

  7. Hi am a Ph.D. student working on a paper that is looking at your project. Do you think I could talk with you via email?