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Five donation meters coming to Hillcrest

A red meter for donations.
A red meter for donations.

Hillcrest will soon have five red meters that will allow people to donate change or make a gift by credit card to help the area’s homeless.

San Diego has a huge homeless problem, and Hillcrest along with Downtown and the San Diego River corridor are among the most affected areas in the city.

The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) voted Tuesday night to sign an agreement with IPS Group in Pennsylvania to provide the donation meters, which look exactly like parking meters except they are painted red.

Ben Nicholls, executive director of the HBA, told his board members that they essentially would be replicating the “Make Change Count” drive in Downtown implemented by the Downtown San Diego Partnership. The only difference, he said, was that the five red meters in Hillcrest would be mobile, so that the HBA could take them to the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Sundays or to festivals and special events that draw large crowds.