Innovative ParkIndy and Conduent Transportation partnership curbs panhandling using parking meters

Indianapolis’ Street Reach Indy program was recognized with the 2020 IPMI Marketing Award for its creative rebranding efforts through the “adaptive reuse” of local parking meters to raise awareness and donations for the homeless community while also curbing panhandling in the city.  The campaign helped to raise nearly $50K through direct and in-kind donations.  Since September 2017, it has raised $300K and has provided assistance to 700 people experiencing homelessness.   

The public program is a partnership between the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP) and Downtown Indy, Inc.  The program helps fight homelessness and provide crucial financial support to individuals as part of ongoing initiatives to help them obtain permanent housing and workforce assistance.  Using local parking meters donated by ParkIndy and its partners Conduent Transportation and Flowbird, constituents can donate their spare change into any of the 20 rebranded parking meters or donations boxes across the city as well as through pay-by-cell instead of giving donations directly to individuals.  ParkIndy, along with Conduent Transportation, supports the program for free, including installing and maintaining the meters, collecting donations, and counting coins on behalf of the program.    

Residents and visitors can easily identify the gold and bright blue Street Reach Indy meters which are accompanied by attractive signage that clearly identifies the program’s mission: “Making homelessness rare, short lived, and recoverable.”    

In Indianapolis, the Street Reach Indy campaign helps to broaden CHIP’s audience and social media engagement and encourage valuable sponsorship opportunities.  ParkIndy promotes CHIP through direct donations and, within its subcontractor agreements, requires that vendors donate a percentage of their Indianapolis-based fees to support local charities. 

While there’s still much work to do to end homelessness, Street Reach Indy is an example of how cities and their partner agencies can continue to shape the idea of a smart city, expanding curbside management in new and innovative ways. Every donation quickly and easily reaches those who are in need, homeless, and on the streets of Indianapolis.