Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Berkeley's Homeless Change Boxes Took In How Much $$?
Mike and I have spent time recently in Berkeley attending shows at the Aurora Theater and the Berkeley Rep, and we noticed the square boxes on traffic light poles soliciting funds.
Money donated is intended for homeless programs and run by the business improvement group for the area. I asked them for facts and figures about funds raised since the boxes were installed in May.
Over at the Berkeleyside news site, Seung Y. Lee reported in the spring on how the boxes were developed, by whom and where the money raised would go. Source:…/berkeley-launches-donation-b…/
Is this something San Francisco should emulate?
Yesterday, I received this email full of info and I'm impressed in the five-months the boxes have been on the streets of Berkeley, just over $1,100 has been donated:
"Mr. Petrelis,
"This email is in response to your request for information regarding the Downtown Berkeley Association Positive Change Program.
"Attached you will find our spreadsheet that details the locations, collection dates and collection amounts, showing $1,157.73 collected to date.
"100% of all monies collected have been deposited into the Berkeley Food & Housing Project - Downtown Homeless Services Fund account at Mechanics Bank. Berkeley Food and Housing Project (BFHP) is the fiscal sponsor and service provider for the program.
"Funds have been used, and will be used, for specified purposes including, low cost ID's, personal hygiene kits, transportation assistance, and homeward bound assistance. We are told by Berkeley Food and Housing project they have used $470.30 of the funding to date, and hence have a fund balance of $687.43.
"Fyi, the four Positive Change donation boxes were installed in May 2015, and an an additional six boxes were installed in August, in Downtown Berkeley.
"You can read more about the program on the City of Berkeley website at Positive Change Donation Box Pilot Program
"Please do not hesitate to call or email if you have any additional questions.
John Caner, CEO
Downtown Berkeley Association"

 (L to r) Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner, Vice Mayor Linda Maio, Berkeley Food & Housing Project Executive Director Terrie Light, and City Councilman Jesse ArreguĂ­n pose before making the first donations to a Positive Change box. Photo: Seung Y. Lee,

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