New drinking fountain in downtown Terre Haute will benefit the homeless and the community

The fountain is located at 7th and Wabash Avenue, just east of the Vigo County School Corporation building. Stephanie Pence, Terre Haute's downtown coordinator, took it upon herself to make water accessible to anyone walking down the streets.

Posted: Jul. 9, 2018 6:26 PM
Updated: Jul. 9, 2018 10:12 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- The first ever drinking fountain was installed on Monday in downtown Terre Haute.

The fountain is located at 7th and Wabash Avenue, just east of the Vigo County School Corporation building. Stephanie Pence, Terre Haute's downtown coordinator, took it upon herself to make water accessible to anyone walking down the streets.

"The fact that there wasn't access to public water downtown is a need that I don't think a lot of us realized until it was right in our face," Pence said.

She says the idea to bring a public drinking fountain to the area has been in the works for one year. Pence says the push to install water downtown came from the growing homeless population.

"It's important on hot days," Pence said. "Yes, they {the homeless} can go down to Fairbanks park, but that's kind of hard when you're homeless and you are carrying your entire life on your back."

The fountain is not only for people but for people's furry friends too. There is also a pet station located right next to the fountain. It is equipped with trash bags and a trash can. Pence says it's another way to help keep downtown Terre Haute clean.

"In an urban setting you need things to not leave your mark in a bad way," Kelly Ford, a dog owner said. "You got to pick up after yourself. You got pick up your trash and pick up your dog waste. It's just common decency."

Coordinators say their hope is to increase the value of the downtown area and have more people enjoying outdoor activities. Pence says there are some other projects currently in the works, such as bike racks and park benches.

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