Yakima City Council to Decide on Giving Meters
Should the City of Yakima install so called "giving meters" in an effort to curb panhandling? The Yakima City Council will answer that question tomorrow. The city is considering installing a dozen meters so people can deposit change in the meters instead of giving money directly to panhandlers. The money would go directly to organizations which help the homeless. The cost of the meters would be $7,000.
The program is patterned after a program in Atlanta. Wilma Sothern, spokesperson
for the City of Atlanta says the meters are making a difference in her city, "We have definitely seen a decline in aggressive panhandling in our city, we very rarely are hearing from our constituents that they've seen this activity, so we would say it's definitely working. I'm not sure that you can say it's just the giving meters, I think the whole three pronged approach our city has definitely been effective "
Altanta also passed tough anti -panhandling ordinances and held a public information campaign which the City of Yakima is also considering.
The city of Yakima is also considering a public information campaign urging people to give to legitimate organizations and not to panhandlers, who may be using that money for drugs and or alcohol.
The Yakima City Council will vote on the "giving meter's" tomorrow at it's weekly meeting.