Willie Baronet- Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising at SMU, Founder WE ARE ALL HOMELESS Project
Artist and Professor Willie Baronet has purchased close to 2,000 homeless signs since 1993. He uses this collection to create exhibits that raise awareness about homelessness.
Willie’s passion for the homeless began over 20 years ago out of his own awkwardness and guilt he felt when ignoring people he encountered on the streets. He began his quest to understand it all. Why were these people homeless? Why did he feel this way? How could he change his feelings and views about homelessness?
In 2014 Willie and three filmmakers drove across the U.S. buying signs and talking to the people behind them. This trek became a Prime Video documentary called Signs of Humanity. The news coverage of the trip resulted in 138M media impressions, was on the front page of Reddit, and an article picked up by the Associated Press was featured in media across the United States.
One of Willie’s most memorable stories is from the streets of Philadelphia where he met Eddie Dunn, who was suffering from addiction, homeless, and disconnected from his children. In 2016, after a year and a half of sobriety, Eddie contacted Willie.
Tune in to hear Eddie’s rise from hopelessness to happiness.