Specially marked parking meters are allowing people to use change or swipe a debit or credit card to donate to homeless assistance programs. The parking meters are a product of the Tucson Homeless Work Group, led by Ward 5 Tucson City Council Member Richard Fimbres, and are operated by the Tucson Change Movement. The volunteer committee helps fund initiatives and programs aimed at helping end homelessness in Tucson.
By the end of this month, there will be a total of 20 meters installed around Downtown Tucson, 4th Avenue, Main Gate/University of Arizona, and Mercado San Agustin.
The initial program funded by the meter donations will be the Tucson Homeless Work Program. That program allows homeless people to join a day-labor crew to clean streets and medians in five-hour shifts for $10 an hour in cash. Those who take part in the program, administered by Old Pueblo Community Services, get two meals, a shower, and other services provided by various agencies.