AUSTIN (KXAN) - It wasn't long ago when the city of Austin was looking to ban panhandling along Interstate 35.
Now a University of Texas student is looking at possible solutions to homelessness through a project he has on display at the Visual Arts Center .
"I went out and randomly met a bunch of persons flying signs panhandling along the I-35 corridor," said Daniel Rudin, Studio Arts Masters student at the University of Texas.
Daniel Rudin wanted to know if the homeless are really working a job by flying a sign.
"When we see a homeless person we can't assume they are a screw up and they decided to be on the street," said Rudin.
This studio arts masters student at the University of Texas met a dozen people who live on the street and asked them to tell their stories.
Those videos and their words are called "The Working Homeless."
What Rudin found surprising is that most people he met had a college degree.
"Christie was a practicing vet for 14 years, William has a bachelors in interior design," said Rudin.
And he found himself comparing panhandling to an entry level job.
"If you go to the service sector job you're hustling, scrambling the same way you are flying a sign, just try to make ends meet," said Rudin.
But one aspect of his experience just can't leave him - tickets from police for panhandling.
"Everyone I talked to had a ticket, 10, 15, one guy had $35,000 in tickets," said Rudin. "It's not fixing the problem just exacerbating tensions between homeless and police."
Ultimately he hopes this art project will promote the public to think about possible solutions instead of making it illegal.
"A panhandling or sign flyer is an ambassador for the homeless because they make homelessness visible," said Rudin.
The Working Homeless will be on display through March 12th.
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