Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Give A Better Way

The City of Denver has found a great use for some of its decommissioned parking meters. Thirty-six of them have been refurbished, given special graphic treatment, and redeployed around downtown as collection centers to help the homeless. Rather than handing cash to panhandlers who many times use the money to feed addictions, the money collected will go to services and programs that will actually help people. This gives people who want to help a way to insure their contributions will give real assistance.

A new survey has shown that there are over 16,200 homeless people in Colorado, many who cite medical conditions, job loss, and other economic hardship for the reason they have no shelter. It is a horrible situation to be in poverty, and it could happen to most any of us. Since we have no universal healthcare, job loss means loss of medical coverage as well, which only further kicks people when they are down.

The meters can each hold up to $60 in coins, and can do a world of good. Even $1.50 will buy a meal for a person in need. Some other statistics from the projects website, www.giveabetterway.org:

$625 - Provides a homeless family with food, shelter, clothing, employment
assistance, and case management for one month

$216 - Provides 10 days of transitional housing for an individual or
family who is homeless

$75 - Provides a night of shelter and support services for a victim of
domestic violence

$15 - Provides a meal for 10 homeless individuals

My kudos to those involved in this worthwhile project.

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