Using old parking meters for collecting donations to defer money given to panhandlers to social services is not new.
Many communities have taken this approach, with some being very successful & creative at the same time!
Nashville comes to mind as a more recent effort where design contests were held & the community engaged productively to put together a program that would address the needs of the community.
Here is a quote from a recent article that just came across our daily reading alerts.
They are trying to mimic the success in San Diego & are willing to take it to the next level relating to the panhandling & homeless arrest rates there in San Luis Obispo.
They call for a follow-up approach to the high number of tickets that are in the “system” with the creation of a “homeless court”!
We have seen other communities that have accomplished great things & we’ll write more about that later as the approach to a specialized court has the potential to be a place of outreach for a Housing First initiative too!
He said the next step is fixing the justice system, because as it stands, when a transient gets a ticket for an infraction, like being drunk in public, urinating in public, or aggressively panhandling, the ticket often slides through the system. Gesell said some repeat offenders have dozens of tickets, and they have never made a court appearance.
“There is talk of creating a homeless court, which would focus on our chronic offenders, and we would send them to a commissioner,” said Gesell.
We are also very interested in the direction (which programs they support) of funds raised by such a parking meter program though!
As you may imagine, we are NOT interested in supporting the funds being put to use to grow the same systems of services which are for the most part FAILING to meet the need of this specialized population of homeless folks!
A Housing FIrst campaign & solution is the most productive use of those funds & we call for measured consideration of such a dedicated use of those funds!
via Ending homelessness in San Luis Obispo | KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles.
via Another Parking Meter donation approach surfaces, with follow-up to a panhandling epidemic, but we ask where should the funds raised be deployed? | Ending homelessness in San Luis Obispo | KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles.