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Panhandling meters raise $500
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ATLANTA (AP) — A campaign to cut panhandling across Atlanta by directing would-be donations to "giving meters" has raised around $500 over the past six months.

Officials released the numbers Thursday for the program called "Give Change That Makes Sense" that was launched in September. The program involved installing five parking meter-like devices along with signs encouraging pedestrians to put their spare change in meters — not in the hands of panhandlers. Officials have since installed seven more meters.

City homeless adviser Debi Starnes says the devices have raised a few hundred dollars. That's enough to provide five weeks of transitional housing for someone in need.

The money will go toward charity groups.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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