The Friends of the Prado Day Center was given an $8,500 donation Tuesday to assist the homeless.
The money was raised through Change for Change, a two-year pilot program launched in April in a partnership by the city, the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association and the United Way of San Luis Obispo County to help curtail panhandling downtown.
Seven designated parking meters, converted to accept cash and credit card donations, were installed downtown. The majority of the money, $7,000, was collected by sponsors of the meters, including San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx; Copeland Properties; Mary Parker of Friends of the Prado Day Center; Dee Torres, a former director for Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County; and Eric Meyer, a county planning commissioner.
In addition, the public donated about $752 at the meters. The remaining funds came from donors such as Dignity Health. The program also donated $925 to 211 Hotline, which answers calls from people seeking social services assistance.