Chattanooga Pushes Parking Meter Program

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield wants people to quit handing their change to panhandlers.

Littlefield has launched a campaign called "The Art of Change" that will discourage giving money to beggars.

Instead, Littlefield is asking businesses and civic groups to sponsor the placing of old parking meters where people could donate their spare change. Proceeds will be distributed among agencies who help homeless people.

The coordinator of the program says it probably won't generate a lot of money, but should help raise consciousness about panhandling.

The mayor says many panhandlers are not homeless, but simply make their living by asking other people for money.

He also says the best way to reduce the habit is to quit feeding it.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)