Report: Many Haven for Hope donation stations inoperable

20 of 24 donation stations jammed, full

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter, amolina@ksat.com
Published On: Aug 13 2012 11:22:49 AM CDT   Updated On: Aug 13 2012 10:00:42 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Haven for Hope has put donation stations around town -- in the form or retired parking meters. What they haven't done is maintain them.

The bright yellow and blue machines are located in the downtown area to raise money and awareness for Haven for Hope.

"It's a good way because, you know, tourist people put (money) in there. They know it's for a shelter here in San Antonio," said San Antonian Lance Cross.

Just a year after the 24 units were installed as part of an anti-panhandling ordinance, there are 20 that are inoperable.

"Whether it's stuck or full, it's a problem, said San Antonian John Ramano.

Interim Director of Haven for Hope Mark Carmona said vandalism is partially to blame.

"Some that are full have had a screwdriver shoved into them, so it's impossible for us to go in and collect the money and bring it to the process and we're going to have to contact the manufacturer and try to figure out how to get these open," Carmona said.

Carmona admits they need to do a better job of accounting for the machines and the money.

"Make sure the machines are maintained, making sure that we're collecting. If we can't open them, why? We need to get that fixed so that if people want to make those donations so the dollars can come, it can work as intended," Carmona said.

With a meager $311 dollars brought in since last summer, some say it is a missed opportunity.

"If they would empty it, they would probably be amazed at how many times they would fill up," said tourist Gerro Parish.

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