Los Angeles Follows Pasadena’s Lead with Orange Donation Meter Collections for the Homeless

Published : Friday, February 9, 2018 | 6:22 AM

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Flintridge Center President Jaylene Moseley unveil Pasadena's first homeless donation meter in August, 2014

Former Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Flintridge Center President Jaylene Moseley unveil Pasadena's first homeless donation meter in August, 2014

The City of Los Angeles is installing bright orange refurbished parking meters that collect donations for the homeless – pretty much exact copies of the ones pioneered here in Pasadena in 2014, as described by the Real Change Movement, which started the campaign.

The donation meters will be up later this week in Los Angeles, the latest community to get onboard with the Real Change campaign to reach out, collect donations and help the homeless, according to CBS Los Angeles. West Palm Beach earlier put up their meters and have been collecting for their homeless.

Downtown Los Angeles will start getting the bright orange, happy-faced meters Thursday with the message “Homes for the homeless. Please donate any amount that makes you happy,” according to CBS Los Angeles.

In 2014, Pasadena installed nine of the meters, in cooperation with the City’s Department of Housing. Housing Director Bill Huang said they received $4,000 in donations in their first year and twice as much the second year they were installed. An August 2016 report by Real Change showed $16,000 out of the meters’ collections were donated to Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena. The donations are matched by United Way.

“We helped 20 people get permanently housed,” Huang told CBS Los Angeles, adding that the meters are also meant to get people talking about homelessness. “Everybody wants to do something about the homeless issue, and this gives people a vehicle to do that.”

L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar told CBS Los Angeles the first meters to make it to downtown L.A. were expected to be installed Thursday. Two of the brand new bright orange meters will be located in Grand Park, including next to a children’s play area. Meters will also be installed at El Pueblo, near Hotel Alexandria, and at the St. Vincent Jewelry Center.

“[It’s a] good way to help the homeless. Granted, it’s not the solution,” Huizar said, “but we can get some funding that we can direct to some organizations that will help the homeless.”

The donation meters, donated by the IPS Group to the Real Change Movement, are able to receive donations by credit card or small change, just like parking meters receive parking fees. They’re usually placed in high foot traffic areas, but interested groups and individuals can host them and decide to put them anywhere feasible.

For more information about how to help the campaign, host donation meters, or find where they are located, visit www.realchangemovement.org.