Evidently, Tucson has a program in place. Here’s an article about that.
The idea is to allow people to donate to combat homelessness by putting change (or using a card) at these refurbished meters, rather than giving money to the homeless directly.
There is an organization, called Real Change, which has been working on this issue, and placing meters around on street corners.
Homeless advocates are responding to these donation meters, on both sides. Here’s an interesting, but too brief, article about concerns that some folks have about donation meters.
Homelessness is a growing problem in downtown Phoenix. Since the Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) had to close down a building that housed hundreds of people downtown, we have seen an increase of people on the streets.
To be fair, despite all of the good work that CASS does, they can’t fully address homelessness with the conditions they are working under now. The Arizona legislature has for years cut the dollars that used to go to helping people who are in severe need to get houses.
Advocates will tell you that we need a completely different approach. Rather than warehousing people in poor conditions, many of whom are in need of behavioral health services, drug rehab services, healthcare and job location services, we need to give them affordable housing options where they as individuals are integrated in to stable neighborhoods.
This costs money in the short term, but pays for itself in the long-run.
As realtors, out goal is to make certain people have a roof over their heads, where they want to live. However, the massive build-out of apartments has not resulted in more affordable housing –even for moderate-wealth individuals.
Through 2018, we will focus on this issue. We will encourage donations to our Charity Referral Network to direct toward the housing crisis, and we will give personally.
What do you think?