St. Petersburg's Power of Change donations go to cops, not homeless
In a video from 2015, the City of St. Petersburg said that Power of Change donation stations placed around town would help people donate to the homeless "instead of giving money to panhandlers."
Yes, but: While the city has funneled thousands in donations into the police department's coffers, very little has gone to helping the homeless, Creative Loafing's Justin Garcia reports.
What's happening: Acting on a tip, Garcia asked the police department to account for the donations.
- Since 2019, just $1,716 out of about $11,497 in revenue raised through the stations has been spent on the homeless community, Garcia reports.
What they're saying: St. Pete Cop Watch organizer William Kilgore, in a statement to Creative Loafing, accused the police department of misleading "residents and visitors into believing they're helping the poor."
- SPPD told Garcia in an email that the department has "been in budget discussions with other city departments to see where the funds could be shifted so they are best utilized for the homeless."
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