For Goodness Sake: Local priest combats judgment of homeless

A local artist and priest has grown tired of people who are judgmental and dismissive to those who are most vulnerable.

"We live in a world that could actually be called cruel at times. Let's make it a little less cruel by having people refocus their attention and not look at homeless people with disdain but look at them as human being," Father Jim St. George explained.

The judgment or mere avoidance of Philadelphia's homeless is an issue that Saint Miriam Parish has worked on extensively. They donate clothes, food, and have tried to spread awareness.

As we enter the season of Lent, Father Jim heard of an art exhibit and thought it would fit in perfectly with their mindset.

The exhibit that is now on display is called "We Are All Homeless," and is made up of signs that were purchased from homeless across the county. The signs have one real purpose, to make you think.

"One sign here somewhere that talks about how you should tell the person that you love the most in the world that you love them because his wife died and he lost everything. And it impacted me," Father Jim explained.

The artist behind the exhibit has been traveling across the country talking to homeless people for twenty years. Initially, he set out on a mission just to break his own stereotypical beliefs.

"I'd like it if we would just take a moment and realize that the stories we make up about people are not necessarily true," artist Willie Baronet explained.

An added benefit has been that when people see the exhibit, regardless of the city, Willie has found that people generally do care.

"I don't think that I was aware that so many people connected to the feeling of helplessness or whatever when it comes to people on the streets," Willie said.

"Something happened in their life that caused them to end up on the street. That doesn't mean that they're less human, that doesn't mean they're less of a person," Father Jim added.

The exhibit will be open through Easter.