Downtown Evanston has given new life to expired parking meters. Instead of collecting change for parking, a series of 13 painted meters will now collect change for people struggling with homelessness. The expired parking meters were transformed into works of art by children and families at the Evanston Made Kids event at the Evanston Art Center in June. The meters are installed in planters and landscaped areas:
700 Clark (2), 1700 Sherman (2), 700 Church (2), 1600 Orrington (2) at fountain square., 700 Davis (2) in between Sherman and Orrington in flower area., 1500 Sherman (2), 600 Davis (1)
This public art project is just a single piece of a larger initiative to raise awareness about homelessness and panhandling in the community. Downtown Evanston is organizing an education campaign focused on assisting this at risk population find assistance such as meals, showers and shelter. Downtown Evanston is also encouraging Evanston residents, workers and visitors to redirect their spare change to these meters or “Donation Stations”. All change collected at the Donation Stations will be donated to Evanston-based organizations, such as Connections for the Homeless, which provide services and resources to people struggling with homelessness.
“By redirecting resources to organizations that are in a better position to provide these much needed services we hope to maximize their impact, Downtown Evanston hopes to create a positive impact on the community,” commented Annie Coakley, Executive Director of Downtown Evanston. “Connections for the Homeless like so many health and human service non-profit organizations need year-long fundraising support, we thought this might help and the meters add a little art downtown as well.”
In addition, Downtown Evanston developed two brochures that will be available throughout Evanston. The first is a list of resources in Evanston (shelter, meals, job assistance, etc.) to distribute to people asking for change. The second is a handout with an overview of panhandling and other ways to get involved to help address homelessness in Evanston. The materials will soon be available for download at downtownevanston.org/donations-stations and can also be found at the Evanston Public Library.
Downtown Evanston is a nonprofit corporation that provides marketing and management services to Evanston’s downtown business district. For additional information about this initiative, visit downtownevanston.org.
Evanston Made is celebration of the arts in Evanston with art studios, galleries, museums and businesses throughout Evanston showing works and hosting events by Evanston creatives in June. Throughout the year Evanston Made hosts community building art events, visit our Facebook page to stay current!