Downtown Services


Real Change, not Spare Change

Want to make a contribution to downtown Portland?

Support the Portland Business Alliance Real Change, not Spare Change program. Instead of giving change to a panhandler, drop some change into one of the Real Change, not Spare Change meters located throughout downtown or give a voucher. The change is collected monthly and turned over to Transition Projects, New Avenues for Youth and Outside In. Vouchers are redeemable for food, showers, transit and clothing from the same organizations.

Vouchers cost 25¢ each and are available in books of four at the locations listed below.

Give hope. Give a voucher. Give some change.

SAYING "NO" TO PANHANDLERS

Why say "no" to panhandlers? By giving to people in need, aren't we helping them?

According to homeless advocates, many people buy alcohol and drugs with money they panhandle. So giving money often perpetuates the circumstances that have led to homelessness.

However, it's important to know that not all panhandlers are homeless, nor are they all drug abusers or alcoholics.

So, what should you do?

  • Politely say, "no." It's the simplest thing you can do.
  • Give money to agencies serving the homeless.
  • Offer them a "REAL CHANGE, NOT SPARE CHANGE" voucher. 25 cent vouchers are redeemable for food, public transportation, shelter and other necessities, and have no cash value.
  • If panhandlers are being aggressive or intimidating, call Downtown Clean & Safe at 503.224.7383.

Real Change, Not Spare Change Meters
The decommissioned parking meters, donated by the City of Portland, can be found at the following locations:

  • Pioneer Place Food Court, 700 SW 5th
  • The Real Mother Goose, 901 SW Yamhill
  • US Bank, 321 SW 6th
  • Kitchen Kaboodle, 535 SW 6th
  • Portland Development Commission, 222 NW 5th
  • Powell's Books, 1005 W. Burnside
  • Whole Foods, 1210 NW Couch
  • Standard Insurance, 930 SW 4th
  • Office of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, City Hall, 1221 SW 4th
  • Office of Commissioner Sam Adams, City Hall, 1221 SW 4th

Vouchers cost 25¢ each and are available in books of four from:

  • Nordstrom concierge desk 701 SW Broadway, 503.224.6666
  • Pioneer Place information desk (lower level) 888 SW 5th Ave., 503.228.5800
  • Office of Neighborhood Involvement in City Hall 1221 SW 4th Ave., Room 110, 503.823.4519
  • Portland Business Alliance 200 SW Market St., Suite 1770, 503.224.8684

Give hope. Give a voucher. Give some change.

For more information, contact the Portland Business Alliance at 503.224.8684.