July 28, 2008

Over the past month or two, the City of Tempe and the Downtown Tempe Community (Tempe Leadership Class) have been adding the following signs to the Mill Avenue District.  An idea which has proved successful in other downtown environments, the "Give Change for Change" campaign maintains that sometimes a "hand out" is not always a "hand up".
Taken from the actual signage: "Giving change or food to panhandlers or homeless people may hurt more than it helps by encouraging life on the streets and by discouraging people from seeking the real help that they need."  It continues, "If you really want to help, feed the change for change parking meters mounted to most of these directory locations instead...".  The idea being that the change you give to the meter will actually go to aid organizations who help the homeless get off the streets.

Downtown Tempe Living - Mill Avenue - Change
Mill Avenue Gives Change for Change

Downtown Tempe Living - Mill Avenue - Change
Signage in Mill Avenue District

Although this project will probably not completely solve the problem, it will certainly go a long way towards helping clean up the streets and we applaud the Tempe Leadership Class for promoting such an aggressive campaign.

Tom Tokoph
Urban Living Broker