Homeless Utility Bills

In Florida, the Homeless Coalition reports the homeless population grew 23 percent in 2001. The city of Tallahassee along with partners, says there’s a new plan to fight homelessness. It's called, "Change for Change."

“This originally was brought to us by a large group of churches. Commissioner Gillum was very supportive of this, and I am very happy we're doing it,” said City Commissioner Allan Katz.

“This 'Change for Change' program is going to have an impact on all agencies in our continuum of care," said Kay Freeman of the Tallahassee Homeless Coalition.

Similar programs have proven successful.

"Actually it's helped me to learn how to be out on my own and help myself,” said Nichole Pierce, Serenity Shores Mother.

City officials say the plan is simple when the form arrives with the next utility bill, fill it out, and mail it back. Every month the donation, of the customers choice will be added to their bills.

"The additional resources will help the homeless. It's really important to remember some of their needs are very fundamental,” added Freeman. "It's worth it. It would be worth it," said Pierce.

Customers can make a monthly donation for as little as 50 cents, or they can write in an amount for more. All proceeds will be split among the 44 different agencies that benefit the homeless.