Q&A About Panhandling Prevention Giving Meters - Give Change That Makes Sense

April 7,2009

1: What are the giving meters and their purpose?
The giving meters are refitted parking meters located throughout the city that provide an outlet for people to give their spare change and have it go directly to organizations that help the homeless, rather than giving change to panhandlers because a) the panhandlers may not be homeless and b) if they are, giving them spare change is not what will get them into housing.

2: Where does the money go?
100% of the money collected will go towards organizations that aid the homeless, like United Way’s Regional Commission on Homelessness and the Gateway 24/7 Homeless Services Center.

3: Who pays to install and maintain the meters?
The giving meters are paid for by private property owners and stakeholders at a cost of $375. Afterwards, the City of Atlanta maintains and services the meters.

4: Does the $40,000 that was raised by Give Change that Makes Sense only go to install meters?
Actually, the money that was raised was not used for giving meters. The initial funds raised were used for printed collateral, education pieces and marketing material to communicate the goal of the program. These funds will be used on an on-going basis to equip property owners, tourists, hoteliers, businesses and other interested parties with the proper educational materials.

5: How many meters are currently in Atlanta and where are they located?
There are currently 5 meters in Atlanta in the following locations: at the Trinity Street entrance of City Hall, near the entrance to the Fulton County Courthouse, the Georgia World Congress Center campus, the Hilton Atlanta hotel and the Atlanta Police Department Zone 5 precinct located on Spring Street and Andrew Young International Blvd.

6: Are more meters expected to be installed Downtown and in other areas of the city?
Yes. Since launching the initiative on September 10th, we have received requests for at least 9 additional meters to be placed on private property throughout the City, including Buckhead, Little 5 Points and Midtown.

7: Is there a time frame for these meters to be installed?
Once the orders are processed, delivery and installation will take eight weeks.

8: Who can obtain a meter and what is the process, including payment?
It is very easy to obtain a meter. Any business or property owner within the city of Atlanta can request one by completing an order form on the website or by calling Central Atlanta Progress at 404-658-1877. The total cost per meter is $375, including installation and ongoing maintenance.

9: Who controls the meters?
The meters will be installed and managed by the City of Atlanta’s Public Works department. One hundred percent of the money collected will be distributed among established organizations within the city of Atlanta who serve the homeless.

10: How often are the meters serviced?
The Giving meters will be serviced according to the City’s established parking meter management schedule.

11: Has this system been proven to work elsewhere?
Yes, this system has proven successful in numerous cities throughout the country, including Athens, Ga., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Denver, Colo.

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