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New parking meters take donations to help Indy homeless

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By Lindy Thackston

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 7, 2014) - Hoosiers will soon be able to donate to help people living on the streets in Indianapolis by simply dropping change into parking meters.

The new campaign kicking off Friday is called Know Outlets.

Park Indy donated 25 old, refurbished parking meters to the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) and the meters will be spread throughout the city.

Individuals or agencies can sponsor the meters and people walking by can simply drop change into the meter.

The money will go directly to support outreach teams working with people living on the streets.

"The really cool thing about the campaign is that the money goes directly to people who are in great need," said CHIP Director Christine Shepard. "And so if that's where you want to make sure your money is going, you don't have to wonder who's getting it or what they're doing with it, you know that this will do some great services and make a true impact in Indianapolis."

The money will help with areas such as access to housing, medical treatment and substance abuse treatment.

Shephard says more than 8,000 people experience homelessness in Indianapolis on an annual basis.

"We get to see these meters down on Georgia Street, you'll see some on Mass Ave., you'll see some out by the mall," said Shepard. "They're going to be scattered all over downtown and when you see one, we encourage you to drop some money in. Also there will be information on these meters and the boxes that will show you where you can go to give, where you can go to get more information about who is serving the homeless in Indianapolis and what you can do to be part of the impact."

"We're so thankful for this campaign to be able to help us with funding because one of the barriers is financial assistance for housing and treatment," said Melissa Burgess, coordinator for Horizon House. "So with this campaign, that will enable us to provide the financial assistance for several individuals and hopefully end their homelessness."