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Will Work for Pizza

Is this entrepreneur's ad campaign helping homeless people&#151or exploiting them?

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This story appears in the November 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you live in Portland, Oregon, you've probably seen them:homeless people with signs that read, "Pizza Schmizza paid meto hold this sign instead of asking for money." EntrepreneurAndre Jehan, 41, pays those homeless people in slices and soda andsometimes a couple of bucks. Homeless advocates are aghast. DonaldWhitehead, executive director of the National Coalition for theHomeless, says Jehan is "exploiting" the homeless, and"any person who works a job in America should get at leastminimum wage . . . or better, a living wage. The signs aredegrading." Not surprisingly, Jehan sees it differently.

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