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Donation parking meters empower Tucson's homeless - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Donation parking meters empower Tucson's homeless

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TUCSON - Brianea Bradley came to Tucson with no money. For a time, living life on the streets seemed like her only option.

"I actually moved down here for my girlfriend. At first we were sleeping in parks so we didn't really know where we were going,” Bradley said.

Bradley would soon discover the Sister Jose Women’s Center, a non-profit organization that’s provided assistance to Tucson’s homeless since 2009.

"It's a place where women can come together and it's not like in other shelters where everybody is standoffish -- kind of like we're a big family, you know," Bradley said.

While at Sister Jose’s, Bradley has been able to make some money through Tucson’s work program designated for the homeless community.

Funding for the program comes in part from the donations accumulated through the Tucson Change Movement’s nearly 20 distinguished parking meters in town.

"There's no overhead to it. Nobody's taking out any sort of administrative fee. Whether it's through coins or whether it's through credit or debit card donations, it's all directly going to the program,” said Donovan Durband, Park Tucson administrator.

Durband said the donation meters have collected hundreds of dollars since May.

It’s helping people like Brianea Bradley become self-sufficient and empowered to conquer life in a positive way.

"It's amazing to know that people who you don't even know have such a big heart and want to help you out and it makes me feel like there is hope for other people, other women,” Bradley said.

Around 50 women at Sister Jose’s have participated in the work program so far.

To learn more about the Tucson Change Movement, click tucsonchange.org

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