Library seeks to help the homeless be seen

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Bismarck, N.D. - There's a new art exhibit at the library, and it is meant to represent those of us going through the hardest of times.

A plywood cut-out of a human being. You can look right through it, and that itself is one of the greatest problems a homeless person faces in America.

"I see it everyday, even before I became homeless I could see people walk right by people downtown that had been sitting on the bench all day, and they just avoid them. At all costs. And it sucks," said Roland Johnson, a homeless man.

Art exhibits like this one have been set up in state capitols across the country. The Bismarck exhibit includes the work of a local photographer. We asked what some thought about the display.

"I think it's a good thing, because it shows that it could be anyone. It could be a mother, it could be a kid, it could be a Grandpa or whatever. you know, a lot of people get a stigma with homeless people thinking we're all lazy, or we're alcoholics, or we're drug users," said Garrett Sproul, a homeless man.

Garrett and Roland were spending their Sunday afternoon reading at the library. They are homeless and currently staying at the men's shelter in Bismarck.

"It's just something I have to deal with. Like I said, I have a job, it's just a matter of finding another place to live and everything else and it just sucks because it's the cold months," said Johnson.

The campaign is meant to raise awareness for the homeless, and to raise awareness for the local organizations that help homeless people.

People are encouraged to learn about those organizations and encouraged to lend a helping hand.

The figure at the library will remain on display through the month of October.