New Haven meters offer new way to help the homeless - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven meters offer new way to help the homeless

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New Haven meters are helping the homeless (WFSB) New Haven meters are helping the homeless (WFSB)

New parking meters in New Haven are helping the homeless, while cutting down on aggressive panhandling.

They don't look like your typical parking meters. They're brightly colored and pushed back away from the curb.

The meters are part of New Haven’s “Give Change to Make Change” initiative, and what it’s calling “responsible giving.”

It is designed to help those who want to give to those in need, but not necessarily to panhandlers, who the city said might not even be homeless or hungry at all.

"You really don't know where that money is going to go and what it’s going to do,” said Win Davis, of the city’s Town Green District.

The city will collect the money, which will support jobs for the homeless and food for the hungry. It will also help staff a homeless outreach and engagement position at the library.

"Libraries are becoming a defacto social service centers, so the social service providers decided it’s a great place to go to hold office hours,” Davis said.

"There is a homeless problem here in New Haven and it’s a great way to give back, especially with the holidays being around,” said Joe Orsini, who works in New Haven.

While supporters said the money will add up in helping those who are homeless and hungry, others feel it won't help those in need right then and there.

"I just bought a hot chocolate for a woman up the street that needed to be warm. It’s good that they can collect money and provide services, but sometimes people need it right at that moment,” said Beatrice Codianni, of New Haven.

In addition to the meters, you can also give online, here.

New Haven is also asking for feedback on where it should put the other six meters.

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