In February, a bright orange machine that looks like a parking meter was installed in Grand Park to help collect donations for homeless outreach. The homeless population has been increasing dramatically in Los Angeles and the donation meter in Grand Park is one of six meters installed across downtown Los Angeles. The meters will collect donations that will support the City County Community program, which brings outreach workers into the streets to help homeless people. Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar stated that it is a new way for Angelenos and visitors to chip in and help address the crisis.
The donation meters were donated by the IPS Group and the machines accept spare change as well as credit card donations. The six meters will also generate money through sponsorships that cost $3,500 annually. According to Councilmember Huizar spokesman Rick Coca, the six meters will cost $5,000 to operate and maintain each year while generating $21,000 from annual sponsorships, which will produce at least $16,000 for the outreach program, plus any money that people drop or swipe into the meters. Sponsorship money will be collected by the Flintridge Center and then sent to a nonprofit called the People Concern, which works with the outreach program. We will have to see if the donation meters are a success and if more of them will be installed throughout the downtown area.