Giving Meter” Pilot Begins Downtown

A couple years ago while visiting a southern California city, decorated parking meters caught my eye while walking around. I learned these meters weren’t for parking—but for collecting donations to help the homeless.

These meters—bright, and covered with artwork—were placed in pedestrian areas, in such a way that would not be mistaken for parking purposes. Instead, a message on a sign offered people an alternative way to donate spare change to help the homeless population.

I thought, why not give this a try this in Phoenix?

Beginning this month, the City of Phoenix, along with Downtown Phoenix Partnership, will pilot the “Giving Meter” program in the Downtown Core. With support from Artlink Inc., they’ve invited artists to paint these meters that have been refitted to accept coin and card donations.

Donations will fund PHX C.A.R.E.S. (Community Action Response Engagement Services), a City of Phoenix program that sends trained outreach teams to lead with services to help those experiencing homelessness find long-term solutions. The donations will be used to purchase essential supplies, such as hygiene products, eyeglasses, identification kits, sheets and towels, etc.

During the pilot, the four Giving Meters will be in these high-pedestrian areas downtown:

  • Northeast corner of 3rd Ave. & Washington St.
  • Northwest corner of 1st Ave. & Jefferson St.
  • Northwest corner of Central Ave. & Adams St.
  • Northeast corner of 3rd St. & Van Buren St.

The goal of PHX C.A.R.E.S. is to help people end their homelessness. (For more information, please visit

Around Phoenix, and the Valley, many people and organizations are working toward this mission. The City of Phoenix is a partner of the Healthy Giving Council—a group of residents, non-profit organizations, social service providers, neighborhood groups, businesses and government agencies, and individuals who’ve experienced homelessness, who promote healthy and sustainable giving. (For more information, please visit

Giving to those in need isn’t only a message for the holidays. Healthy and sustainable giving applies year-round. Consider giving to organizations that are working toward solutions to ending homelessness.


Debra Stark
City of Phoenix
Council District 3