New York City

Generous Guitar-Playing Busker Creates ‘Hopeful Cases' for NYC's Homeless

The Ithaca College alumnus started the project to change the way New Yorkers think about giving

What to Know

  • Actor and musician Will Boyajian busks at the 42nd Street-Port Authority subway station and donates his proceeds to the homeless
  • The Clifton Park native started the project to change the way New Yorkers think about giving
  • So far, Hopeful Cases has just two musicians, but if you've got musical chops and want to get involved, email

An Astoria musician wants to help New York City's homeless community one guitar strum at a time. 

Actor and musician William Boyajian used to busk for keeps years ago. These days, he donates the earnings from his performances at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station to the homeless through his project, Hopeful Cases.

When he busked for a living, Boyajian was bothered by the fact that he'd take home a case full of money while the homeless folks around him would be left destitute. 

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Passersby drop dollars and coins into his open velvet-lined guitar case as they walk along the platform. A sign displayed in front reads "If you're homeless or need help, take as much as you need from the case (I just like to play) #HopefulCases."

Boyajian takes nothing from his earnings, although he sometimes keeps the "cool foreign coins". The money earned by he and another musician goes to disadvantaged New Yorkers willing to pick $5 or $50 from the case of money. Any leftover funds go to single-ride MetroCards for straphangers in need.

Several Reddit and Instagram users praised the bluegrass and country musician's efforts to alleviate the city's homeless problem. He was even offered a recording space for his project by an engineer at Brooklyn-based music studio.

The Clifton Park native started the project to change the way New Yorkers approach giving in a city that can sometimes be isolating and difficult to navigate. 

"The goal of this project (besides getting as many musicians invovled) is t ospead the idea that if you see someone in need, give," he wrote in a post on Reddit. "That homeless/struggling somebody's brother, sister, mother, daughter etc. I'd rather be wrong 9/10 times and help that 1 person who needs it."

If you're a musician who wants to get involved with #HopefulCases, you can email

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