The faces on the "We All Need Jobs" billboard are not actors or models, they're real people.
"These are real people like myself looking for employment," said job seeker Howard Friedenberg, a photographer and communications specialist who came up with the idea. "We should do a billboard. We should physically put ourselves out there looking for jobs to stand above the others."
"At first I was a little mortified," said job seeker Marty Wells. "But the more I thought about it, this is an example of why we would make such good job candidates. We look at a box and decide how to break that box down and look outside the box and do things that separate us."
The signs appear at four BART stations. They list the group's website, WeAllNeedJobs.com, which profiles each candidate.
"The recovery's going to be slow," said job seeker Carol Guterman. "I think that folks do need to be patient and keep putting themselves out there."
These people are all part of a larger group called SING, a career transition support group sponsored by Danville's St. Isadore's Catholic Church.
"We find people still coming in from all over the Bay Area," said Tom Loarie of St. Isadore's. "They come into the group and all of sudden they're with people that are going through the same burden, carrying the same burden that they're carrying, and they find that there's tremendous support."
So far, one of these job seekers has found a job and several others have landed interviews after a potential employer spotted them.
At the very least, these people hope their billboards will help put a real face on the problem of unemployment in the Bay Area.
"It brings awareness to people that every day there are people, common people that surround you," said job seeker Sara Rudy. "They're at stores, they're at your gym, they're at church, and they're just having a hard time."
Beyond that, all these people want is to get off the wall of the BART station and onto a train, headed for work.
For more information, visit WeAllNeedJobs.com
To contact SING:
Thomas M. Loarie
A Career Transition Ministry of St. Isidore Catholic Church
2485 Holly Oak Drive
Danville, CA I 94506
Phone: (925) 525-0272