Got any spare change? Starting Wednesday, you can help the homeless in Pasadena by feeding a meter.
“They are re-purposed parking meters,” said Jaylene Moseley, president of the non-profit Flintridge Center, which is running the new program. “They are parking meters that are bright orange and they have a happy face on them.”
The former parking meters will accept change and credit card donations. “It’s an alternative to supporting pan handling, which research shows is typically used for negative purposes,” Moseley said. “Community members will know when they make donations to these meters that 100 percent of the funds will go to housing solutions for the homeless.”
The donation meter program is the first of its kind in LA County and has been dubbed the Real Change Movement.
The locations are:
- Flintridge Center, 236 West Mountain Street, Pasadena
- Pasadena Public Library, 285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena
- Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena
- Paseo Colorado, 308 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
- Urth Cafe, 594 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
- Brookside Park (near the Clubhouse), Pasadena
- Fraser Alley (adjacent to pedestrian exit of parking structure), Pasadena
- Fuller Theological Seminary (Psychology Building at Oakland and Walnut), Pasadena
- Mercantile Place (adjacent to pedestrian exit of parking structure), Pasadena
- Pasadena City College (location to be determined), 1570 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
Locations on map are approximate.
The United Way of Greater Los Angeles will supplement the donations collected in the meters with additional contributions and distribute the funds to agencies that serve the homeless.
Similar programs have been up and running in Denver, San Luis Obispo and San Diego.
Kelly Knight is the homeless outreach supervisor for the Downtown San Diego Partnership Clean and Safe program. Her group has had 21 donation meters in downtown San Diego area for nearly two years.
“It’s not a huge money maker but it’s a great educational tool,” she said. “We make about $300 a month from the meters, and we’ve had other larger donations come from having the meters [...] We are a tourist city. People come here and they enjoy our beautiful city. And they see someone asking for money, and it pulls at their heartstrings. The meters give them an option."