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WPRI: Providence will soon have giving meters to help homeless

Published on August 8, 2017

By Dan McGowan, WPRI.com Reporter

Published: August 7, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Elorza administration is finalizing its plan to install 10 giving meters in neighborhoods across the city as part of an effort to help people in need of housing and other support programs.

Mayor Jorge Elorza first proposed the program last November, but the city is only now laying out a process for donation stations and an online giving portal, according to Victor Morente, a spokesperson for the city.

Morente said installation will begin by the end of the month.

Elorza signed an executive order last year establishing the PVD Gives Commission to oversee the distribution of donations, but no one was appointed to the five-member panel because no payment system was created.

Morente said the mayor will make three appointments to the commission at the Sept. 7 City Council meeting. The council president also gets to appoint a member. The fifth member is the mayor or his designee.

The commission will review grant applications to “recommend proven, successful service providers for funding based on each organization’s needs and programming offered,” but the chairman will have the final say over who receives the funds, according to the executive order.

The giving meter program was part of a broader effort Elorza is supporting to the help the homeless. He also proposed opening a navigation center to connect people living in poverty with community resources. The city selected the House of Hope community development corporation to run the center, but it hasn’t opened yet.

The administration hasn’t said how much it expects to generate from the program. Other communities that have giving meters include Atlanta, Miami-Dade County in Florida, New Haven, and Rapid City, South Dakota.

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Dan McGowan (dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

Courtesy of WPRI