Can Web site offer homeless man hope?

This web site is making news around the world, is this the way to help some one out or just another way to expoit another human being?

****Can Web site offer homeless man hope? ****

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HOUSTON -Until a few weeks ago, Tim Edwards was just another one of the men begging for change at a busy Houston underpass, ignored by most drivers who sped on past without a glance.

Now, thanks to an Internet marketing campaign and unlikely allies, Edwards has become the human face of homelessness to thousands of online viewers drawn to his Web site by its deliberately controversial name — Pimp This Bum.
During regular Webcasts, dozens of visitors to ask questions about Edwards’ life and his slow fall from office manager with a home, a car, and a future to an outcast short of hope and with little prospect of help.
The Web site also is a venue where visitors can donate money, services and goods to help Edwards yank himself out of homelessness.
Some homeless advocates say it makes Edwards a victim of exploitation, but the organizers say that edgy tone is what makes the project succeed.
"We wanted to insult people’s sensitivities so that they would go to the site and see Tim, and people seem to have fallen in love with him. He’s funny and doesn’t blame the world for his situation," said Kevin Dolan, 55, a marketing specialist from the Houston suburb of Katy who started the Web site with his 24-year-old son, Sean.
**If the site had been called “Help the Homeless,” many Web surfers might just have clicked on past, says Sean. **

I think it’s innovative, but, at the same time, I think we must be cautious about who we donate to. We never know if someone will actually receive the money we sent over the Internet. Still, we can always hope for this man! :slight_smile:

If it actually helps the man, that is great. But I think its success is dependent on it uniqueness. If there were 1000 similar sites, folks would likely ignore them as they tend to do with “help the homeless” sites.

Only a heartbeat separates anybody from being in his shoes. Obviously it’s helping him, it’s helping the web site owners as well, I hope they are directly compensating him well for this.

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