Proposal would put ‘homeless meters’ in downtown Macon

rmanley@macon.comAugust 23, 2012 

The Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority voted Thursday to act as fiscal agent for a proposed “homeless metering” program that aims to raise money for charitable causes while reducing panhandling.

The program is a project of Leadership Macon’s 2012 class and would involve placing “donation stations” that resemble parking meters in areas where residents could contribute to local homeless shelters and other programs.

Chris Tsavatewa, project spokesman, said the proposal will be brought before Macon City Council in a couple of weeks, but 12 council members already have pledged their support of an ordinance.

“Nine asked to be co-sponsors,” he said.

The funds would be used by the Macon Coalition to End Homelessness to support programs for the homeless. In addition to the money raised by the meters, annual corporate sponsorships are being sold for $2,500, Tsavatewa said.

One of the meter program’s aims is to cut down on panhandling downtown.

“Giving money to panhandlers is the worst thing for the community and the worst thing for the person that’s panhandling,” authority Executive Director Alex Morrison said. “Panhandling perpetuates because it works in Macon.”

To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.

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