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Hoodies for the Homeless.

Posted by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 7:07 AM
  • 24 Replies
Whatcha think?

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5511898

This Ingenious Hoodie Could Save Homeless People's Lives
Eleanor GoldbergThe Huffington Post06/19/14 03:51 PM ET
When Anders Hsi constructed a hoodie that zips up the front of a wearer’s face, he had in mind a person who values his privacy, like a passenger on an airplane.

But when a homeless man named Joe approached Hsi and was eager to try on the innovative sweatshirt, Hsi realized his product could take on an entirely new mission, Mashable reported.



The Visor sweatshirt zips up the front of a person’s face, but doesn’t impede vision or obstruct the wearer’s hearing and is very breathable, according to the product’s Kickstarter page.

The reason it appealed to Joe, and will likely pique the interest of other homeless people, is that it allows the wearer to be in public, and remain somewhat inconspicuous.

"If I zip the sweatshirt up, it makes me feel more private," Joe told Mashable. "People tend to stare at you when you're sitting on the side of the street. It's nice having some privacy, you know? And it's warm."



While the stares are invasive, it’s also the violence that so many homeless people are subjected to that’s the more pressing problem.

According to a recent study released by the National Coalition for the Homeless, attacks against homeless people jumped 23 percent last year as compared to 2012.

In 2013, there were a total of 108 reported attacks against the homeless, according to the study. Nineteen of those assaults resulted in death, Michael Stoops, director of community organizing, told HuffPost in March. The year before, there were 88 reported attacks, 18 of which resulted in death.

The organization found a direct correlation between the number of attacks against homeless people and the proliferation of anti-homelessness legislation.

Four of the 10 "meanest" cities were located in Florida and California, which are both notorious for their anti-homeless laws, according to the "Homes Not Handcuffs" report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Joe told Mashable that he thinks the sweatshirt could potentially provide a level of protection, and deter police and passersby from approaching him in an aggressive way.



Hsi is still fundraising on Kickstarter to get his product off the ground and wants to incorporate a giving back element that will help homeless people get access to the sweatshirts. For every 12 hoodies he sells, Hsi will give one away to a homeless person in in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he’s still testing the product.

Hsi told HuffPost that since meeting Joe, he has given seven other homeless people a Visor hoodie in return for their feedback.

Falcon, a homeless man, suggested that he add on more secure pockets in the front and increase the size of the mesh panels to improve hearing. Cristina, a local homeless woman, said she appreciates how she can work on her beaded craftwork on the street while still covering her face.

As of Thursday, the company had raised more than $9,000 and has set a goal of collecting $15,000.



Hsi said contributions will go toward purchasing fabrics and accessories, and paying production costs.

One of his main goals, though, is to offer homeless people elevated comfort and a sense of dignity.

"Our project treats people who are homeless differently," Hsi told HuffPost. "We are including them in value-creating activity, leveraging their unique experiences and hardships to create design and a product that is better for everyone."

If you'd like to contribute to the Visor Kickstarter, find out how you can get involved here.
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 7:07 AM
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Replies (1-10):
cemcnair
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 7:07 AM

Mobile Photo

cemcnair
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Mobile Photo

SweetLuci
by Luci on Jun. 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

 This would be scary if I saw a person with this on. I would be afraid they were trying to commit a crime, like robbery.

Strange the comments about how the homeless are treated in Florida and California. Maybe it's because of the amount of homeless who come here because of the weather, and because so many churches and other organizations feed them, clothe them, give them places to live, and try to get them to take the meds they are given and then transition into the workforce. Yes, if they are urinating on sidewalks and harassing people, they will be arrested, then given a bus ticket out. It's a daunting task, and a serious problem, but I don't think this is going to help them.

earthangel1967
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 8:57 AM

HOnestly I think it is sweet this person has good intentions and it's nice if SOME homeless people like it I guess. but I was a homeless person for 2 yrs more often than not during that time and I would NEVER have worn something like that.. I might as well wear a flashing neon sign to say LOOK AT ME I'm not like you.. I am a target. I am a faceless nobody to you so if you hurt me you dont  even have to see my face to see I'm human so you can walk away with even less conscience.  Also they look like they would scare and intimidate other people, it looks like they are going to attack someone or rob a place.  They don't NEED a worse stigma and fear attached to them.  So many homeless people are totally misudnerstood and stereotyped as it is. 

I think this is a horrible idea.. when I was homeless I went out of my way to try to appear in a way that people could not even guess I was homeless. I even had a part time job and only people who knew me knew I was homeless, ..... that's important to help  you be able to rise above your difficult situation and to blend into society better and not be a target and not to be unfairly judged and not even given chances at jobs etc.... places of employment tend to frown on hiring homeless people because of false assumptions about such people... so it's better to look as "normal " as you possibly can when homeless. 

I think this idea may be well intentioned but I think it's a HORRIBLE idea and will only cause even more homeless people to get hurt and outcast even more. 

 View Full Size Image YVONNE

GypsiSky
by Platinum Member on Jun. 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM
1 mom liked this

I see the intent... But honestly, it's a bit creepy to think of seeing people walking around like this. Also, I would think it would make the homeless stand out even more... More of a target. And can you just imagine how someone would find a way to use it for undesired purposes??

momofsixangels
by Colleen on Jun. 20, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Its not something I think they would really use.I help the homeless and they need more things then this hoodie.Blankets,bug spray,personal items,sleeping bags. I honestly dont think too many would wear this

cemcnair
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 9:43 AM
I found it creepy too! I don't like the idea of a hidden face.

Quoting SweetLuci:

 This would be scary if I saw a person with this on. I would be afraid they were trying to commit a crime, like robbery.


Strange the comments about how the homeless are treated in Florida and California. Maybe it's because of the amount of homeless who come here because of the weather, and because so many churches and other organizations feed them, clothe them, give them places to live, and try to get them to take the meds they are given and then transition into the workforce. Yes, if they are urinating on sidewalks and harassing people, they will be arrested, then given a bus ticket out. It's a daunting task, and a serious problem, but I don't think this is going to help them.

cemcnair
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 9:44 AM
Thank you for sharing your experience. I too think it's a good idea, but not a good reality.

Quoting earthangel1967:

HOnestly I think it is sweet this person has good intentions and it's nice if SOME homeless people like it I guess. but I was a homeless person for 2 yrs more often than not during that time and I would NEVER have worn something like that.. I might as well wear a flashing neon sign to say LOOK AT ME I'm not like you.. I am a target. I am a faceless nobody to you so if you hurt me you dont  even have to see my face to see I'm human so you can walk away with even less conscience.  Also they look like they would scare and intimidate other people, it looks like they are going to attack someone or rob a place.  They don't NEED a worse stigma and fear attached to them.  So many homeless people are totally misudnerstood and stereotyped as it is. 

I think this is a horrible idea.. when I was homeless I went out of my way to try to appear in a way that people could not even guess I was homeless. I even had a part time job and only people who knew me knew I was homeless, ..... that's important to help  you be able to rise above your difficult situation and to blend into society better and not be a target and not to be unfairly judged and not even given chances at jobs etc.... places of employment tend to frown on hiring homeless people because of false assumptions about such people... so it's better to look as "normal " as you possibly can when homeless. 

I think this idea may be well intentioned but I think it's a HORRIBLE idea and will only cause even more homeless people to get hurt and outcast even more. 

cemcnair
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 9:45 AM
I would be very Leary of not being able to see someone's face. Humans communicate so much with their facial expressions and eyes.

Quoting GypsiSky:

I see the intent... But honestly, it's a bit creepy to think of seeing people walking around like this. Also, I would think it would make the homeless stand out even more... More of a target. And can you just imagine how someone would find a way to use it for undesired purposes??

cemcnair
by on Jun. 20, 2014 at 9:47 AM
I was hoping you'd pop in! I wondered since you work with the homeless what you thought.
While generally, I would find this unsettling, I wondered about the "private space" aspect for the wearer. Sometimes we just want to be alone. Not an easy feat on the streets I imagine.


Quoting momofsixangels:

Its not something I think they would really use.I help the homeless and they need more things then this hoodie.Blankets,bug spray,personal items,sleeping bags. I honestly dont think too many would wear this

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