Kindness meter initiative to provide help for Penticton homeless | Penticton News | iNFOnews

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Kindness meter initiative to provide help for Penticton homeless

Diane Way of Front Street Gallery shows Penticton City Council an example of a kindness meter at the Tuesday, March 21, 2017 regular council meeting.
March 21, 2017 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - City council has unanimously approved an initiative that will enable residents to donate to the homeless without encouraging panhandlers in Penticton's downtown core.

Bylaw Services supervisor Tina Siebert and Downtown Penticton Association executive director Lynn Allin introduced the 'kindness meter' initiative to council at its regular meeting today, March 21.

The brightly decorated, coin parking meter can already be found in several B.C. Interior cities including Kamloops, Kelowna and Vernon. The meter is repurposed for donations to the homeless and located in an area where panhandling is a persistent problem.

Siebert says Penticton’s kindness meter would be located near the 200 block breezeway on Main Street, a common location for panhandlers in the city. It will cost taxpayers about $500 to install the meter and for decals.

Earlier this year, the steering committee of 100 Homes Penticton endorsed the kindness meter pilot project as part of their strategies for reducing homelessness in the city.

A further recommendation by city staff involved handing over the kindness meter donations directly to 100 Homes Penticton for distribution to local service providers such as the South Okanagan Brain Injury Society, Penticton Soupateria, Pathways Addicitons Research Centre and Salvation Army.

Staff also recommended council endorse the pilot project for a one year period, beginning this April.

Diane Way of the Front Street Gallery provided an example of the brightly painted meter and pole to staff and council members at Tuesday’s meeting.

It is unknown at this point how much revenue will be generated by the initiative.

Council endorsed recommendations to support the kindness meter initiative for a one year period near the 200 block breezeway. All proceeds are to go to 100 Homes Penticton as part of their strategies for reducing homelessness in the city.

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