LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There are thousands of people on the streets of Louisville without a home, but an initiative started in 2011 is still trying to change that using collection bins throughout downtown.

"We find $20 bills, we found more than one $20 rolled together," said Ken Herndon with the Louisville Downtown Partnership.

Herndon is talking about blue collection boxes that were once used by the parking authority. They went up four years ago to provide a future for those on the streets.

The program is still successful today and has already collected between $6,000 and $7,000.

"Our most recent collection we sent about $1,200 over to the Coalition," said Herndon.

The donation bins are placed throughout downtown Louisville at major intersections.

"Some people ask for money on the street and service providers prefer that money is given directly to the providers so that they're sure it's used for the proper purpose," said Herndon.

Money that's collected goes to the RX Housing Program run by the Coalition for the Homeless. It's then used to help people get off the streets and into permanent housing, sometimes going toward a down payment on a new place.

The whole idea behind the 12 boxes is to make sure that the money goes directly to homelessness -- so anytime you donate, you can be sure that your money will not be used for drugs or alcohol.

"It's better than giving to someone on the street,” said Herndon, “because so often on the street that individual is either a professional panhandler who isn't really homeless or it's somebody with a substance abuse problem that is just feeding the habit."

Instead of feeding habits, it's feeding their future and saving everyone money.

"So being in a sheltered environment helps them improve and stay healthy and therefore cheaper to treat over the long haul," said Herndon.

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