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Make Change Count


The objective of this initiative is to reduce panhandling throughout the City of San Luis Obispo through implementation of a program that provides a opportunity for the general public to donate and help the homeless in a positive way. Insuring that the donations are used productively for homeless services rather than enabling behaviors that are destructive to both the individual and the community. This program will use recycled parking meters and re-purpose them to be used as donation meters throughout the downtown.

Direct donations may be submitted through the United Way here.


  • Community Awareness & Coordinated Responses - build community awareness and support for coordinated responses to reduce homelessness.

  • Enhance Public Safety - Improve public safety by reducing the number of program resistant individuals that support their life styles and addictions through panhandling.

  • Services - Provide better access to supportive services that promote long-term stability and improved functioning.

Make Change Count

The Making Change Count directed giving program in San Luis Obispo is specifically designed to contribute to the homeless shelter. This program provides an opportunity for citizens to directly donate their change to the donation meters that goes directly to expanding services at the homeless shelter.

Special Thanks to:

We would like to thank the County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors for their $2,250 Community Grant to assist with the implementation of the Donation Station campaign and the Make Change Count program, and a special thanks to Supervisor Gibson - District 2, Supervisor Hill - District 3, Supervisor Arnold - District 5 for their support.

What have other Cities said about their programs?

“Program is very successful and should be implemented in every city. Received more funding than expected” – Laguna Beach

“The Donation Meter Program is just one more example of the Denver community coming together for an important cause. This project is an innovative, creative approach to educating the community about homelessness while also generating much-needed resources.” – City of Denver

“The meters are not the draw to get the money; the real moneymaker is sponsorship and online donations.” – Michelle Ross, Salt Lake City

Information about Panhandling

City of San Luis Obispo Panhandling Ordinances [City Municipal Code (section 9.06.025)]

  • No panhandling within 25 feet of any ATM

  • Within 6 feet of the entrance to a commercial establishment or driveway

  • Within 10 feet of any intersection of city streets or highway off-ramps

  • On any median in any city street

  • On the roadway of any city street


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