The city of Phoenix has partnered with Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP) to debut Giving Meters in the downtown Phoenix area.
The Giving Meters are repurposed parking meters, decorated by local artists, that will be placed on sidewalks in areas with high foot traffic in downtown allowing people to give money that will help make sustainable change to those experiencing homelessness through supported services. A similar program was first launched in Laguna Beach, Calif.
The meters were unveiled during a special event on July 23, attended by several local dignitaries including Mayor Kate Gallego, City Councilwoman Debra Stark, who represents District 3, Marchelle Franklin, Phoenix Human Services director, and Catrina Kahler, president of Artlink.
“These meters were championed by Councilwoman Debra Stark and brought to life by our dedicated city staff,” Gallego said. “Using these meters, people can easily donate to help those experiencing homelessness in our city. They were painted by local artists passionate about the issue.” She encourages residents to “use your change to make change!”
Initial locations include the northwest corner of 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street; the northeast corner of 3rd Street and Van Buren, near the Arizona Center; and at Phoenix City Hall, east of the main entrance. All Giving Meters will be located along pedestrian walking paths, not adjacent to parking areas to avoid confusion with existing parking meters.
The Giving Meters accept both money and credit cards. Funds donated to help the homeless will be administered by PHX C.A.R.E.S. (Community Action Response Engagement Services) Program, managed by the Human Services Department and intended to transition people out of homelessness.
The donations received from the parking meter giving program could be used to assist with gift cards, lodging, eyeglasses, hygiene kits, move-in kits, identification cards and other items to assist homeless individuals with long-term solutions.
The meters will each have a sign installed on the pole to provide information on the program. The pilot program is expected to last six months and will be evaluated based on donations collected and feedback received from city departments and residents about the program.