PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza on Thursday unveiled the 10 locations for the city’s new giving meters, a set of donation stations spread across high pedestrian-traffic areas in the city that he claims could eventually curb panhandling.
The first installation of the orange retrofitted parking meters was at the intersection of Fulton Street and Dorrance Street in downtown, the same part of Kennedy Plaza where Elorza is seeking to create a two-way street that would be used by cars instead of buses.
Each meter will cost about $1,000 to install, and can be converted back to parking meters if the city ends the donation program. The giving meters will accept both coins and credit cards. The city also intends to accept tax-deductible donations at PVDGives.com.
Aside from Kennedy Plaza, the meter locations include:
- Doorley Municipal Building at 444 Westminster St.
- Thayer Street and Angell Street
- Wayland Square
- Broadway and Knight Street
- DePasquale Square on Atwells Avenue fronting Spruce Street
- Broad Street and Colfax Street
- Broad Street and Pearl Street
- Chalkstone Avenue and Academy Avenue
- Hopkins Square at Branch Avenue and Charles Street
Elorza made the first contribution, donating $100 using his Bank of America debit card.
“PVD Gives and the new donation stations make it easier to give back,” Elorza said. “Our collective generosity can make all the difference in the lives of those striving to get back on their feet. I encourage visitors and residents to chip in and be part of the solution.”
Elorza and acting City Council President Sabina Matos have also made five appointments to the PVD Gives Commission, a volunteer panel that will oversee the distribution of any proceeds from the donations.
The panel will be tasked with reviewing grant applications to “recommend proven, successful service providers for funding based on each organization’s needs and programming offered,” but the chairperson will have the final say over who receives the funds, according to an executive order signed by the mayor.
Elorza’s appointees include Providence Police Lt. Henry Remolina, Providence Foundation Executive Director Cliff Wood, LeeAnn Bryne and Christian Delacruz. Byrne formerly worked for the Rhode Island Coliation for the Homeless and now works in the state treasurer’s office. Delacruz is a student at the Community College of Rhode Island. Matos appointed Mary Smith of Oasis International Inc. to the commission.
The commission will select a chairperson at its first meeting.
Elorza announced the giving meter program last year as part of broader effort to 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.