Through Project 256, Street Art Provides Direct Aid to the Homeless !

October 19, 2015

Ignoring the homeless people, avoiding their gaze and not displaying any sign of acknowledgement of their existence have, sadly, become habits for many. Some of the less fortunate attempt various ways to draw other people’s attention, and when all of them fail, what else is there to do? Well, if you find it easy to turn a blind eye to a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk, perhaps the thing what would catch your eye would be a giant mural of the same person displayed on a side of a building. Project 256 enables street artists to create a portrait of a local homeless person, followed by a stenciled QR code. The code can be scanned with your phone and it will lead you to the individual’s story and send a donation.

Project 256 search using points
Project 256

Project 256 Turns the Homeless from Invisible to Visible

One of the main reasons why passers-by ignore the homeless person on the street could be the fear and the inability to cope with hands-on approach and direct contact. Project 256 eliminates this “obstacle” that many find unsurpassable, by introducing a completely new way of reaching out to the homeless through art, getting to know their story and ultimately providing them with the much-needed help. The non-commercial campaign was launched in Paris, and the principle of it is quite simple – an artist creates a portrait of a homeless person in a visible public space, a stenciled QR is then added next to the work, leading to a video interview with the portrayed person, and enabling anyone to send a direct Bitcoin donation. There is no processing time required for this transaction, the donation is received instantly from anywhere in the world via an old recycled mobile device.

Herakut - Portrait of Karim and the QR code search using privacy points 2015
Herakut - Portrait of Karim and the QR code

How the Campaign Works

Transparency of these campaigns is an important thing, Project 256 made sure that every Bitcoin wallet address is public and published on the blockchain, allowing anyone to see it at anytime. Every transaction is visible for each address, even the actual number of the donated amount, how much was received in total and how much is left. The recipient can spend the donation immediately to buy food, provide shelter for the night or save it up for a larger purchase. The blockchain even enables the viewer to see where the money was spent.

The project also provides the homeless with recycled old mobile devices, giving them the opportunity to at least enjoy a small part of the modern society we all depend upon. The wifi connection built in the mobile phone enables the homeless to use the numerous wifi hotspots throughout the cities around the world. More importantly, this connection allows the users to send and receive Bitcoin donations.


How You Can Help

Escaping the state of invisibility is one of the major issues of the homeless. The public eye doesn’t seem to recognize them and acknowledge their existence. Streets are their home, so street art is a genius way to try and draw people’s attention to the marginalized. Project 256 produced their first piece, made by Herakut in Paris. In their signature expressive style, the German artistic duo painted a portrait of Karim, who shared his story in hope of getting some support and aid through this innovative project. If you are an artist and would like to contribute to this campaign, or simply make a Bitcoin donation for those who desperately need a helping hand in life, go to to find out all the necessary information, and you can change someone’s story.

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All images used for illustrative purposes only

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