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Feed A Meter, Help The Homeless: Bright Orange Meters Aim To Bring 'Real Change' To DTLA

PASADENA (CBSLA) — Later this week, you can pitch in and help the homeless when you roll up to a bright orange parking meter in downtown Los Angeles.

The idea was such a hit in Pasadena, Los Angeles didn't want to be left out.

Tomorrow, downtown L.A. will get the bright orange, happy-faced meters with the following message on display: "Homes for the homeless. Please donate any amount that makes you happy."

Pasadena's Director of Housing, Bill Huang, says nine meters were installed in Pasadena in 2014. They received $4,000 in donations in their first year and twice as much the second year they were installed. The donations in Pasadena are matched by United Way.

"We helped 20 people get permanently housed," Huang said, adding that the meters are also meant to get people talking about homelessness.

"Everybody wants to do something about the homeless issue, and this gives people a vehicle to do that," he said.

L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar says the first meters to make it to downtown L.A. are expected to be installed Thursday.

"[It's a] good way to help the homeless. Granted, it's not the solution," he said, "but we can get some funding that we can direct to some organizations that will help the homeless."

Money will also be raised through meter sponsorships.

Two of the brand new bright orange meters will be located in Grand Park, including next to a children's play area.

Meters will also be installed here at El Pueblo, near the lobby of Hotel Alexandria, and at the St. Vincent Jewelry Center.


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