City Council is expected to approve a new initiative Tuesday to help change the way Tucson helps the homeless...using change.
Soon, you could see brightly colored parking meters that will donate directly to homeless organizations around downtown all along the streetcar route. You'll be able to give spare change, but there will also be a way to donate electronically through a QR code that will be placed on the meter.
This year, homelessness in Tucson, among veterans especially, is on the rise. More than half of all the homeless in our community suffer from a mental health problem according to the 2016 homeless count done by researchers at the University of Arizona.
To combat this, local business owners started the Tucson Change Movement that could directly donate to programs that provide housing, work, and medical care to our homeless, and you can donate without worrying where the money will go.
"We'd like to remove what we call friction in that transaction," said John Jacobs with the Tucson Change Movement. "So if we make it really easy for you to give, by putting money into a meter, or into a collection device in a store, or online in a recurring subscription model, then I can still help and still give, but I don't have to have an uncomfortable transaction."
You could see these meters in as early as 6 weeks in stores and along the street, and more will be built next year. the organization said it will send 97 cents for every dollar donated directly to the organizations involved.