Make Change Count – Help the Homeless

Make_Change_CountThe San Luis Obispo Downtown Association is working in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo and United Way of San Luis Obispo County to create awareness about the negative impacts of panhandling and provide an alternative through donation stations.

The objective of this initiative is to reduce panhandling throughout the City of San Luis Obispo through implementation of a program that provides an 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 community. This two-year pilot program will use recycled parking meters and re-purposing them to be used as donation meters throughout Downtown and will be paired with a public awareness campaign.

Donation Meter Locations:

  • Chorro Street at Marsh Street Parking Structure sponsored by those who believe, “Compassion Leads to Opportunity”
  • Broad Street at Marsh Street sponsored by Mayor Jan Marx
  • Higuera Street at Chorro Street sponsored by The Wineman Building, LLC
  • Higuera Street at Osos Street sponsored by Eric Meyer
  • Monterey Street at Chorro Street (Mission Plaza entrance) sponsored by Rotary Club of SLO Daybreak
  • Higuera Street at Court Street sponsored by Copeland Properties
  • Higuera Street at Downtown Centre sponsored by Copeland Properties

Please click here to see a map of  where you can find the location of each of these donation meters in our Downtown and put your pocket change or credit cards to work to “Make Change Count.”

Donation Meter Station Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in becoming a donation meter sponsor, please call United Way at (805)541-1234 or click here for more information.


  • 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

Postcards and posters are available in our office (1108 Garden Street, Suite 210) or click here to download poster.

Direct donations can be submitted through the United Way here.

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.

Comments (2)

  • Logan McDonnell



    We’re looking at the logistics of getting smart meters installed for donations here in San Rafael and I’d love to see if you had any analytics behind how you’ve been doing with your smart meters. Would you be able to tell me if your projections have been met and what your projections were? Thanks!


    • Mukta Naran


      Hello Logan,

      Our Executive Director would be the best person to discuss this with you. He is currently attending a conference and is out of the office this week. You can email him at

      Thank you.


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San Luis Obispo Downtown Association

1108 Garden Street, Suite 210
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: (805) 541-0286
Fax: (805) 781-2647

(805) 458-5153

Old SLO Trolley

Trolley service is provided from both of the parking structures and at convenient locations within the Downtown core approximately every 15 minutes. The fare is 50 cents. Hours of operation are:

  • Thursdays - 5 PM to 9 PM - Year Round
  • Fridays - 5 PM to 9 PM - June-Labor Day
  • Saturday - 5 PM to 9 PM - April - October

Click here for the Trolley and City bus schedule.