Homeless Awareness Signs Cause Controversy

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City officials say life-size signs meant to inform Dallas residents of the homelessness in their community are illegal.

The non-profit group "5750 Dallas" has posted 36 of the plywood cut outs around town. The signs are in the shape of homeless people holding signs with messages like, "For what you spend on your iPod and music collection, you can buy 598 pairs of shoes for those in need."

But Dallas officials say the signs violate city codes.

"Even though these signs are very, very different, if they're in the public right of way -- a sidewalk or a median -- they would be subject to removal by our staff," explained Joey Zapata of the Dallas Code Compliance.

Many of the signs have been removed by property owners or stolen.

"We did not clear it with the city. We did not clear it with the owners," said 5750 Dallas project manager Andy Storm. "We tried to put them in safe locations in the public right of way."

"We were trying to find things that would give people an emotional response," he added.

The group says they hope the artwork made enough controversy to make a difference.

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