CMU Student Creates Mugs From Imprints Of Homeless Men's Hands

May 18, 2016

Passing a homeless person on the street often times evokes a sense of guilt--- an internal dilemma.  Should I give money? Buy food? Walk away?

For Daniel See, an art student at Carnegie Mellon University, a sense of uneasiness pitted in his stomach upon simply walking away.

“I was always struck by this sense that there’s a fellow human being that needs help,” See says.

While giving money or food helps, it only alleviates the symptoms of homelessness.  See wanted to do more to target the root of the problem. To accomplish this task he used his  art.

“One thing that many artists worry about is creating something and just representing a problem, but not actually doing something to further the cause,” See says.

“Project Homeless” is a series of cups molded with the handprints of homeless people.  When you use a cup, you are in a sense, holding the person’s hands.

“It’s a reminder of how this is a fellow human being,” See says, “This is someone who needs help, who’s stretching out their hand to you. This is your choice, now, whether you want to help or not.”

All proceeds from cup sales go directly to homeless shelters in Pittsburgh.  See says he hopes to channel the funds into job search programs and skill training workshops at shelters.

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