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Businessman Hopes Philadelphians Will Pay Homeless Meter

October 13, 1995

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Motorists with extra change may soon be able to use it to help the homeless.

A businessman has come up with a plan to put collection boxes shaped like gray-columned Victorian homes on the poles of 1,000 parking meters in central Philadelphia next year.

Martin Shantz said drivers may open up for the same reason people drop change into charity bottles at convenience stores. ``They have change in their hands and they simply drop it in,″ he said.

Besides, ``it makes you feel good,″ said Shantz, who would collect a 10 percent fee from the boxes if the City Council and planning agencies approve his idea. The boxes would be constructed from the same material used to make parking meter poles.

Not everyone approves.

``Nobody will put money in there, and people will try to break into those piggy banks,″ said Judith Eden of the Center City Residents Association.

Donations would benefit the Gateway Center, a city-run shelter, and the Center City District Foundation, which trains homeless people to clean sidewalks and landscape.

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