- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Providence is unveiling its first giving meter so people can donate to homeless causes without giving to panhandlers.

City officials are scheduled to gather at Kennedy Plaza on Thursday for the installation of the first “Donation Station.”

The retrofitted parking meter will collect donations to support local organizations providing housing and services to those in need.

Giving meters originated in Denver, where they were first installed in 2007. Since then, cities from Pasadena, California, to Indianapolis have installed them.

The success of the meters varies by city.

Providence plans to install 10 meters. The city says they cost about $1,000 each.

Panhandling is legal, but has become a hot political issue as some business owners and lawmakers have proposed ideas to crack down on the practice.

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