According to a brief tidbit in this month’s Planning magazine, parking meters are not the only meters you will find along the city streets of Miami, Florida. Begun in 2010, the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust installed colorful panhandle meters for citizens and tourist to make donations to the benefit of all homeless residents of the area instead of money being handed out to individual homeless people. Here’s a brief summary of the program:
“Did you know that Miami-Dade County residents give millions of dollars to panhandlers each year? The fact is that not all who panhandle are homeless. Even if they are homeless, giving them money is not an effective means to help them. That’s why we are deploying our Romero-Britto designed meters throughout Miami-Dade County. They are a safe, reliable and fully accountable means for you to help people who are homeless because 100% of the money collected in these meters is used directly to fund additional shelter beds, and expand the number of indoor meal programs for people experiencing homelessness. When you see one of our homeless donation meters, please consider giving your change to change a life.”
Hopefully, the panhandle meter program will be successful in directing donations to those who need them the most. Have go to admit, it is an interesting new idea. Below is a weblink to an information sheet about the program.