Homeless 1, Panhandlers Zip

The city is another step closer to providing an easy way for do-gooders to give to the homeless at the expense of so-called professional panhandlers, thank to a vote Wednesday night by the City Plan Commission.

The commission uananimously approved a plan from the Traffic, Transportation and Parking Department that would allow it to install repurposed parking meters around the city.

The meters would allow people to make donations to the homeless without directly giving to people who ask for spare change on the street. (Read more about the plan and people’s reactions here).

City Plan’s positive recommendation now goes to the Board of Alders, which will hold a committee hearing before voting on the idea.

City transit chief Doug Hausladen (pictured) said aggressive panhandling has become a major concern for people who work and play downtown and the businesses that serve them.

The plan calls for installing 10 of the repurposed meters, not out on the street where one would typically find such meters and panhandlers, but in public spaces such as City Hall, and the downtown public library, in parking authority garages and at the two train stations.

In addition to the meters, which will be on “movable and securable” stanchions, the department is hoping to work with the creators of the Parkmobile app to provide donation boxes that allow people to use that phone technology to also make donations, Hausladen told commissioners.

IPS Group, which already provides parking meters for the city, has agreed to provide the donation meters at no cost. Hausladen said that IPS Group also will waive its credit and debit processing fees so that 100 percent of money donated through the meters will go to support the United Way of Greater New Haven’s Challenge to End Chronic Homelessness program.

Markeshia Ricks PhotoHausladen told commissioners that New Haven would follow in the footsteps of other cities such as Atlanta, Denver, Pasadena, Chattanooga, Orlando and Virginia Beach that have installed the meters to varying degrees of success. In 2012, IPS Group donated $25,000 to downtown San Diego.

When asked if there were plans to install more than the 10 meters, possibly in other parts of the city, Hausladen said it will depend on the success of the first 10.

City Plan Commissioner and Alder Adam Marchand asked if the city has plans to get the word out to people about alternatives to giving money to panhandlers.

Hausladen said there are plans to work with the Town Green Special Services District and other partners to educate the public through a “Give Change to Make Change” program. He said the plan is to have the meters in place by Thanksgiving.

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posted by: Walt on July 16, 2015  10:01am

Good idea

Nothing to lose

posted by: Cyclogist on July 16, 2015  10:06am

I am curious, how will the donations be used? Having that money go toward funding an additional outreach worker assigned to work with New Haven’s homeless population would be a good use of donations. Is there something like that in the works as a part of this program?

posted by: Ravenclaw on July 16, 2015  10:32am

Wonderful idea - wish all the parking meters were charitable! And the cause chosen is a good one, though one could wish there’d been some public discussion or application process, not just all the money going to one pre-selected charity.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 16, 2015  11:46am

Band-Aid.The homeless need apartments.

posted by: Ravenclaw on July 16, 2015  1:01pm

I’m pretty sure that’s what the program in question does - get people apartments with a minimum of bureaucratic fuss.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 16, 2015  1:12pm

posted by: Ravenclaw on July 16, 2015 2:01pm

I’m pretty sure that’s what the program in question does - get people apartments with a minimum of bureaucratic fuss.

You want bet.

posted by: FairHavenRes on July 16, 2015  1:46pm

3/5, giving a homeless person an apartment is a huge waste of time and money—UNLESS you also have mandatory wraparound services to go with it.  It literally takes a village to get a homeless person into housing and keep them there.  Throwing an apartment their way does nothing.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 16, 2015  5:44pm

posted by: FairHavenRes on July 16, 2015 2:46pm

3/5, giving a homeless person an apartment is a huge waste of time and money—UNLESS you also have mandatory wraparound services to go with it.  It literally takes a village to get a homeless person into housing and keep them there.  Throwing an apartment their way does nothing.

Who says the homeless do not get wraparound services. I know some homeless people who have a apartment have Doctors, Dentist and Nurses who are Home Visitor. Also Sometimes the Homeless Are the Working Poor who do not need wraparound services, But just need a apartment.

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ”

― Martin Luther King Jr

posted by: Bradley on July 16, 2015  6:03pm

Many of the homeless are working and primarily need affordable housing. Others have mental illnesses and also need supportive services. One thing that those homeless people who have substance abuse problems do not need is spare change to pay for drugs or booze.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 16, 2015  8:25pm

posted by: Bradley on July 16, 2015 7:03pm

Many of the homeless are working and primarily need affordable housing. Others have mental illnesses and also need supportive services. One thing that those homeless people who have substance abuse problems do not need is spare change to pay for drugs or booze

Home run. A friend send this report to me. Check it out.

Housing New York: A Five- Borough, Ten-Year Plan

http://www.nyc.gov/html/housing/assets/downloads/pdf/housing_plan.pdf

posted by: Theodora on July 19, 2015  9:18am

3/5ths…

Have you taken any actionable items on the issues you rail about? Because if your sharing of opinions matched your action, you would be the Man of the Year.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 19, 2015  2:27pm

posted by: Theodora on July 19, 2015 10:18am

3/5ths…

Have you taken any actionable items on the issues you rail about? Because if your sharing of opinions matched your action, you would be the Man of the Year

What makes you think I have not.

“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

― Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching

posted by: Hill Resident on July 20, 2015  12:43pm

Thank you Theodora for asking 3/5’s the question ‘have you taken any actionable items on the issues you rail about’. I wish he had responded with something other than ‘What makes you think I have not’ which to me sounds like ‘I know you are but what am I’. And his quote “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” seems to fit very well. Theodora, you spoke about his actions because you didn’t know what actions 3/5’s takes. And by the same token, 3/5s speaks because he does not know ...???? Hmmm… that makes sense. Here’s a quote I think you’ll like Theodora ... “There are two types of people, those that talk the talk and those that walk the walk. People who walk the walk sometimes talk the talk, but most times they don’t talk at all, ‘cause they walkin’. Now people who talk the talk, when it comes time for them to walk the walk, you what they do? They talk people like me into walkin’ for them.” -Key, from HUSTLE AND FLOW.

posted by: tcc036 on July 22, 2015  9:02pm

I believe that it will be a good thing. The panhandling in this city has gotten out of control. I saw a elderly lady running scared from an aggressive, drunk panhandler downtown. It disgusts me. There’s also the older white man with a beard who sits off of Willow Street Exit 6. He has a sign “homeless hungry, please help” The ironic part is I saw him in Rani’s Package store buying Natural Light Beer with the money he collects. He also drives a Green Honda Accord. It makes legitimate poor people who need help get less of it. Its sad. And yet, people out of good will, give him money every day and all he does is use it to buy alcohol. I wish people would donate to charities over the individual.