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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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