Atlanta to Install Donation Meters to Curb Panhandling

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Atlanta officials will install donation meters in five locations downtown as part of an anti-panhandling effort unveiled Wednesday.

The blue and yellow meters, which resemble regular parking meters, are designed to encourage tourists and others to insert their change rather than give it to panhandlers. Mayor Shirley Franklin says the money collected will be distributed to homeless service agencies.

She says the idea is to direct the money to people who really are homeless, rather than hustlers who officials say they believe make up the bulk of the city's panhandling community.

The anti-panhandling push also will include posters discouraging giving to panhandlers, and referral cards tourists and others can distribute to direct the homeless to services.