The donation meter program is another way to help the homeless. Instead of giving change directly to the homeless, the money in the meters is taken by the city to the Lawrence Community Shelter to help fund and support homeless programs. The meters only accept coins and the city doesn’t hold back any fees from the meters.
Lawrence is the latest city to institute the donation meters. There are six donation meters throughout the downtown area of Lawrence that allow people to give money to help support programs that assist the homeless. The hope is to ultimately get the homeless up and off the street and to stop panhandling.
The meters are for safety, too. Panhandlers are often harmless, but at times they can get aggressive and grabby. The shelter uses the money to fund the emergency shelter, healthy meals for families, job assistance, and a way out of poverty.