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Atlanta to Install "Donation Meters" to Ease Panhandling

Atlanta to Install "Donation Meters" to Ease Panhandling

If the merit of an idea is predicated on its slogan, this one might be a winner. Atlanta is installing five meters in the downtown area that read "Give Change That Makes Sense." The meters, distinguished from those of the familiar parking variety by their yellow and black designs are part of a campaign to discourage aggressive panhandling.

In addition to funneling the funds from passers-by, the efforts include increased policing by cops and property owners. The Visitor's Bureau spokeswoman said of the plan, “We believe that this effort will help those in need more than any handout ever will." Denver already uses the donation meters and Atlanta is hoping it will help not only the homeless population, but the safety of its citizens as well. Two weeks ago a man was shot to death in an argument with a panhandler, and given the economy, the homeless population is rising.

The program cost $40,000 to implement, and there's no word as to how much money they think it will raise for the cause. What do you think — is this a brilliant idea — or will the donations be a drop in the bucket?

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WhiteGirl WhiteGirl 8 years
You see my avatar? I'm a full time Pre-Med student AND I have a full time job as a life gaurd. Not only do I save lives but as you can see, I clean toilets. You have to do what you have to do and these people just don't get it.
WhiteGirl WhiteGirl 8 years
They need to get a job! Ironically I had a 2 hour layover at the Greyhound bus terminal in Atlanta once. An emergency came up and it was too late to get a plane ticket without spending over $1,000 so Greyhound it was. I went outside the terminal and talked with some of the men that were panhandling. It was just a job to them. They would put their little coffee cans under their coats when they saw a cop and they had the gift of gab. They were VERY able to get a job, but they would rather sit on a sidewalk and take money that other people worked for. I'm sure someone has to make these "meters" Why not hire the homeless and let them know what it feels like to work for their money. They will know what paying taxes feels like and working so hard for every penny. Then they might understand how messed up it is to just sit on a street corner and expect other people to give what little they have..especially the way the economy is right now.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
That sounds dandy.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Oh, and the constant threat of rape and violence, especially for women--yeah, sign me up for that.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
see=seeing
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I was thinking I would do just that. The cot, sleeping in a room full of people, no privacy, and in the morning having to leave and do it all over again. Plus, the standing in line see if you can get in the shelter - the competition every night is better than sports. I need a drink.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"Yeah, I'm just going to be dirty and smelly and cold and hungry and loathed on sight by 90% of the people who encounter me on a daily basis. That's way funner than working."
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
You don't just wake up one day and say, "You know what, I don't want to work anymore. All this shelter and food is worth giving up to not work."
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Exactly.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
:cheer: GS and bellaressa. I'm not a fan of panhandlers, and I think it is very easy to ascribe homelessness to laziness, but the unfortunate truth is that many of the homeless have crippling mental and/or physical problems and very little in the way of treatment or a support system.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I guess if they live near a fountain they can get the water from there.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Or clean clothes, or even clean hair and skin.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
GS - you know they are lazy. Eating out the garbage of 5 star restaurants is the life. Facing the elements head on - sleeping where ever the day and night takes you. It's the life. Sighs. Getting a job is so easy without an address.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I think there are many factors to homelessness, lazyness far down that list. I think quite a few suffer from some form of mental illness ranging from depression to full blown psychosis. To chuck it all up to one thing isn't the answer, but part of the problem.
seryscarlett seryscarlett 8 years
My funniest homeless encounter was a man asking me outside my apartment for some money so he could get a chicken sandwich. Well I happened to have a chicken sandwich in my fridge. I went inside, got it, and gave it to him. As you can guess, he was angry he didn't get drug money.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I agree stephley. Funny they said it was 40k to implement but never said how much money or an estimate of how much it will take to sustain the program.
outofhere outofhere 8 years
If they're trying to encourage people to donate to the homeless, I suppose this could work. But, as far as curbing panhandling, not a chance, the whole idea of panhandling is that they get money right on the spot.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I also don't get how this will stop panhandling. GS - I hope you weather the storm ok! I second Jude's "be careful"!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
This just seems so odd. I wonder how the program in Denver is doing? Anyone who cares more or with more time on their hands want to look into it? ;)
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
I can just see the panhandlers trying to break them open -- tell a judge that he had every right -- because the money is suppose to go directly to him.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I agree with Steph, GS, and some others. It's really no different than writing a check to a charity. The only small difference I see is that some people are more likely to throw change into a donation box than to save that change and donate it as one lump sum. But, to me, that's why there are those collection boxes at places like McDonald's. You can throw your change in and be on your way. Also, how is this supposed to stop panhandling?
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Oh, dear. Be careful and stock up on candles in case of blackouts :)
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
It is cooler here too. Keep us in your thoughts down here. We are supposed to get 8+ inches of rain on sat alone and have tornadoes and hurricane force winds. Stupid Ike.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
As with so many non profits, the majority of donations will go to administrative costs, salaries of employees, building fees, and advertising.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"Hell has officially frozen over." I was wondering why it's so damn cold in my office today.
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