Dozens of parking meters have been vandalized around downtown Vernon this past week, including one meter designed solely to raise money for those experiencing homelessness.
A photo of a vandalized kindness meter was posted to the Vernon Rant and Rave Facebook page on Wednesday, March 11.
Kindness meters were installed downtown in 2016 as a way for people to donate their spare change to local groups that provide services to the city’s homeless, rather than giving to individual panhandlers directly.
On the pole of the broken meter is a sign explaining what its funds are used for.
“Want to help those in need?” the sign reads.
Vernon RCMP arrested two suspected parking meter vandals on March 10 after reporting 39 meters had been broken into this month.
“Unfortunately, it appears there is more than one thief targeting the meters here in Vernon,” Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Tania Finn said in a release before the arrests were made.
In February 2019, the City of Vernon reported its kindness meter initiative had raised more than $2,500 since its inception.
The city has been contacted for a response to the incident.