The Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) announced Wednesday it will be using some of its old parking meters for a cause that doesn’t involve you paying for parking.
“It’s really interesting and innovative,” said Tim Richter, CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “A lot of people want to help but they’re struggling with how — here’s an ability for people to help in little ways when they feel like it.”
Calgary’s Road Home allows Calgarians to donate to the Homeless Foundation and Calgary Food Bank when they go to pay for parking downtown.
The idea originated in Denver, Col., and the success of their program caught the CPA’s eye.
Temporary donation meters sit along Stephen Avenue and Barclay Street for people to donate change, but they can also make specific donations at ParkPlus machines and through their cell phone account.
“Any donation will help so we’re just happy to be able to provide that service and support these great organizations,” said Troy McLeod, general manager of the CPA.
Richter likened the donations to an impulse purchase that may reach a new audience, but the best thing about it is there’s no pressure, added Paul Morissette, board president for the Food Bank.
- The program in Denver, Colo., collects approximately $100,000 a year in donations, reducing panhandling in the city by 83 per cent since 2007.
- Donations over $25 are eligible for a tax receipt.
- One hundred per cent of the donations will go to the two foundations.