Have you spotted red parking meters along the Boardwalk at the Oceanfront? These meters are part of the "Power of Change" Donation Meter Program. The program is designed to help reduce panhandling in the resort area but still provide an option for those who want to give to people experiencing homelessness.
By using the meters, citizens and visitors can have a better idea of where their donations are going. How?
A committee of representatives from faith organizations, homeowners associations, nonprofit providers, business owners and city agencies make recommendations on how proceeds from the program should be used. Money deposited in the meters may go towards organizations dedicated to helping the homeless or to provide basic supplies, outreach and support. Funds have been used to provide bus tickets for travel to employment, educational opportunities, medical treatment and housing-related searches; prescriptions; identification cards and basic survival supplies.
In 2012, the program generated more than $4,500 to provide direct assistance to homeless individuals at the Oceanfront. Since the program started in 2010, it has generated more than $11,500 in donations and sponsorships.
The "Power of Change" Donation Meter Program is an initiative of the Resort Advisory Commission (RAC), a Council-appointed group that identifies and works together to address resort-related issues.