Parking meters to serve as 'donation stations' for homeless

Las Vegas has set up refurbished parking meters as "donation stations" where people can donate spare change to help the city's homeless people.

Mayor Oscar Goodman and City Council members Steve Wolfson, Ricki Barlow and Lois Tarkanian christened one of the stations in front of City Hall on Monday.

Wolfson, who said he frequently gives money to panhandlers around the Regional Justice Center, said the program is a better way to give money to homeless people.

"It's going to guarantee that the money ... provides for the real needs for our homeless," he said.

The city of Las Vegas will maintain the meters, with the money passing through the city's Homeless Services program to pay for shelter, transportation and other needs. The meters are painted bright green and are labeled so as not to be confused with regular parking meters.

The donation meters have been operating since Wednesday, and one -- at the corner of Main Street and the Fremont Street Experience -- already has been filled. Meters can hold about $75, depending on the denomination of the coins inside.

Other locations are City Hall plaza, the City Hall sky bridge connecting to the parking garage, the Port of Subs at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, the Las Vegas Marriage Bureau, the Arts District at 107 E. Charleston Ave. and the Las Vegas Premium Outlets mall bus stop on Grand Central Parkway.

Contact reporter Alan Choate at or 702-229-6435.