- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - New parking meters in downtown Indianapolis are collecting funds to be used to help the homeless.

The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1aGuW2l ) reports money from the red-and-white parking meters will go to street outreach teams to provide food, services and supplies to an estimated 8,000 homeless people. The new program is run by the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention.

Ten meters have been installed in Indianapolis, with plans to put in 15 more. The meters were donated and installed by ParkIndy, the company contracted by the city to run its parking meters. ParkIndy will also make collections from the meters.

Homelessness coalition spokeswoman Jennifer Hunt said officials don’t expect much revenue from meters, but that more could come from sponsorships. Seven businesses have bought one-year sponsorships for meters at $2,500 each.

“That’s where the real money is, and that comes in yearly,” said Adam Isen, a regional director for ParkIndy.

Officials say donations larger than change for the meters can be made through a mobile parking app.

The idea for the Indianapolis parking meters came from Denver, where such collections began in 2007. Julie Smith, a spokeswoman for Denver Human Services, said the campaign averaged $7,300 a year in collections from meters and $17,400 in sponsorships.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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