Spare change leads to changes in the community
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - In a move to discourage people from giving money to panhandlers, the City of Rapid City installed giving meters. They look like parking meters but the spare change people drop into them goes a long way in helping the community.
Downtown Rapid City officials want people to be generous and donate to the homeless, but they want the money to make a difference. To do that, Downtown Rapid City installed what are called Giving Meters throughout downtown.
The Giving Meters function like the parking meters. However, they are painted green, the distinct color for housing insecurity.
All funds collected will be distributed through Black Hills Area Community Foundation, ensuring people get the most impact from their donations.
Rapid City Mayor, Jason Salamun said he wants to keep the giving going.
“What I love about Rapid City is our big heart, and I definitely think we should keep that big heart and be generous, but to make sure we’re giving to organizations that are being productive and helpful, so that way you know where the money is going,” Salamun said.
Downtown Rapid City & Main Street Square executive director, Callie Meyer said they had plans to install these meters from the meter company two years ago, but there were some setbacks.
“It’s been a little bit of a process. They had manufacturing slow down during Covid, so we didn’t actually get them shipped in until the beginning of this year, and we had to wait until the weather cooperated to get them installed so now, they are all up and running,” Meyer said.
Meyers said these meters are a continuation of an effort that started in 2021, and after collaboration with the Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition, the foundation was granted 10 meters.
Eight of the ten meters are currently installed in high-traffic areas throughout downtown.
Meyers says they have set aside two meters for backups due to weather damage in the future.
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