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Giving Change For Change: Pasadena Parking Meter Proceeds Benefit Homeless

PASADENA ( — The next time you park your car in Pasadena, the change you put in the meter could go on to change someone's life.

The city teamed up Wednesday with the Flintridge Center to roll out the Real Change Movement, which will collect donations in parking meters to end homelessness.

The donation-meter program is the first of its kind in Los Angeles County.

"There's still a lot to do. There are still almost 700 homeless persons here in Pasadena. It's way too many people, but resources are shrinking dramatically," said Bill Huang, the city's director of Housing and Careers Services.

Despite shrinking resources, homelessness has been cut nearly in half across the city. Officials hope the meter program will further their progress.

The first meter started up at 11 a.m. outside the Fuller Theological Seminary School of Psychology, at 180 North Oakland Ave. Officials hope to have around a dozen meters up and running across the city in the coming months.

The meters accept coins or credit cards. There's no limit to how much someone can give.

"The most effective and the most compassionate way to deal with homeless in our community is to support homeless service agencies that are effective and responsible," Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard said.

The mayor said 100 percent of donations will go to services designed to prevent or end homelessness, starting with permanent housing, and encouraged residents to open their hearts and wallets to help the cause.

"I like being able to give it to a place that's going to take care of [homeless people], and give them opportunities as well, and not just something for that day," Pasadena resident Sam Alibrando said.

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