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Homeless man turns panhandling money into beautiful paintings
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A homeless man in Pensacola, Florida, is demonstrating how money donated to panhandlers can be put to good use. - photo by Matthew Williams
A homeless man in Pensacola, Florida, is demonstrating how money donated to panhandlers can be put to good use.

Jon Masters was arrested in August for trespassing, the Pensacola News Journal reported, and while he was in jail, the boat he was living on sank.

After getting out two weeks later, he wasn't too concerned about the boat.

"I was only worried about my dog," he told PNJ. "Everything else could be replaced."

It was then Masters started his inspiring campaign. He began panhandling on the side of the road.

"I was trying to get some money for some paint supplies," he told PNJ, and after just three days he had enough.

It didn't take long before people began to notice Masters had talent for art.

Im selling them cheap, and Im selling them as fast as I can paint them," he said.

Masters claims to be a self-taught artist, according to his Facebook page. He says he taught himself to paint in New Orleans' Jackson Square by watching other artists and a few YouTube tutorials.

After people in the area heard his story, the Pensacola New Journal did a follow-up report on what began to happen.

"More and more people wanted to buy his paintings, which he was selling for $25 to $45. Other folks were dropping off art supplies and canvases and dog food and even a sleeping bag," the PNJ reported.

Then, Daniel Dugan, who organizes farmers markets in the area, picked Masters up and gave him a tent to sell his paintings at one of his markets.

Even though Masters is still without a place to live, he is doing his part to help others. The Huffington Post says he is working with an art studio to bring other homeless artists together at a weekly barbecue.