CHICAGO (CBS) — Signs on the North Side appear to be targeting the homeless, comparing them with rodents who need to be eradicated.

Target Bums

The sign pictured above was spotted by a CBS 2 tipster in an alley off of North Avenue.

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The sign’s image is very similar to the rodent warning signs posted by the city.


“We need to your help to eliminate the homeless problem in this area.”

The sign urges residents to “stop enabling the bums” and offers tips, such as:

“Bums can cause guilt–avoid eye contact”

“Don’t give Bums a free meal.”

“Return shopping carts to their point of origin.”

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CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports some people are not happy about the signs popping up all over Bucktown and Wicker Park alleys.

“Oh that’s terrible,” said Mary McLaughlin.”

Bucktown resident Eric Nietzer said he thinks it is inappropriate and should come down.

Steve Jensen, president of a Bucktown community organization, has a more positive take on the signs.

“I think the message of it hit me that it is a provocative piece designed to get us talking about homeless issues especially in this area where we have a lot of homeless around Steve Jensen.

A city spokesperson says crews have been instructed to remove the signs from the public way, like they would any offensive sign or language.

But one goes down and another seems to go back up. Steve Jensen calls that wasted energy.

“A lot of time was put into it and it’s a shame that the person who put the time into it couldn’t put it toward real homeless issues,” he said.

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32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack says there are fines for putting signage in the public way – up to one hundred dollars a pop. That’s if the city catches and decides to cite the person responsible here.