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Homeless campaign expands, enables mobile donations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An effort to help the homeless in Indianapolis is growing after it’s launch in November.

Know Outlets, an organization aimed at educating Indianapolis residents on how to help the homeless, has been raising money through special parking meters installed around downtown. It may not seem like a lot, but dropping your extra change in one of the red and white meters can make a big difference. It’s made enough of an impact that Know Outlets is installing about 15 more, in addition to the 10 already operating downtown.

The meters were refurbished by ParkIndy and then brightly decorated to stand out. Know Outlets coordinator Jen Hunt says the organization got the idea from a campaign in the city of Denver.

All of the money goes into a pool used by 17 local organizations to provide direct services to the more than 8,000 people living on the streets each year.

“A lot of people tell us that they want to help, they’re just not sure what to do or how to help. What’s the best way to help? So this just gives people another option,” Hunt said.

Know Outlets is now looking for meter sponsors for the new units to be installed this month. The sponsorships run $2,500 annually and can be purchased by individuals, organizations, or companies.

If coins aren’t your thing, you can even donate from your smart phone now. Thousands of Indy residents already have the ParkMobile app. It’s a free app that allows you to pay for parking throughout the city right on your phone. Now if you use parking space number 5669 or ‘KNOW’ you can contribute directly to the Know Outlets campaign.