On November 27th, the Colorado Springs City Council voted to ban all forms solicitation from the downtown blocks between Nevada and Cascade from Boulder to Cucharras. While there’s no telling at this point whether the ban will actually go into effect, as the ACLU is currently challenging its constitutionality, it seems an opportune moment to delve into the issue of homelessness in Colorado Springs, and to explore the relationship between homelessness and panhandling in our community. Though the City Council’s decision was nearly unanimous (8-1 in favor), such consensus on the issue is more elusive in the community at large. We decided it would be worth teasing out the various viewpoints on the matter by way of a several part series, the first installment of which we’ve devoted to the voices of those least heard in this debate: so-called “panhandlers” themselves.

I recently spoke with two people downtown who could potentially be falling afoul of the new ordinance, and they discussed with me their perceptions of the ban and the role of “panhandling” in their lives. Listen to excerpts from our conversations below, and stay tuned for future installments in this series.

Fluteman:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Victor:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

3 Responses to Handling Panhandling: Part 1

  1. CEK says:

    Keep up with this project, Noel. It’s becoming more and more embarrassing for me to admit that I live in Colorado Springs.

  2. GypsyGirl says:

    As one who has been collecting coats and handing out pb & j sammies to our former cimmarron tent occupants, I find this ban ridiculous. Please keep going with this series. I’d love to hear what other citizens think. I hardly doubt our beloved Mr. Skorman would have ever participated in something like this.

  3. Lauren says:

    I have to say that I am in favor of this ban. I live downtown, and the number of people asking for money, or simply sleeping on the sidewalk, has been getting bigger and bigger throughout the recession. I understand that these people are in a difficult position, but it makes me, and many other people, uncomfortable to see so many. It is bad for our small businesses, and the feeling of pride we should have for downtown when people choose to avoid it in order to avoid these panhandlers. However, maybe instead of just strictly enforcing the ban, there should be some kind of serious relief effort for these people in conjunction with it.

News

April 21, 2018 | NPR · Women in a secret group in a female mentorship organization operated as “slaves” with “masters” say federal prosecutors. Actress Allison Mack is alleged to have played a big role in the operation.
 

Duke University Archives
April 21, 2018 | NPR · Duke University has decided to stop honoring roommate requests made by incoming freshmen – returning the procedure largely to chance. Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta tells NPR why.
 

AP
April 21, 2018 | NPR · Gun violence protests may be a pivotal moment for the generation coming up behind millennials. Events that occur when we’re young can have an outsized impact on shaping our political outlook.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
April 21, 2018 | NPR · Falco gained fame and a boatload of awards playing Carmela on HBO’s The Sopranos. She followed that up by creating the iconic role of Nurse Jackie on Showtime. Her new movie is Outside In.
 

AFP/Getty Images
April 21, 2018 | NPR · Allowing cinemas is part of a modernization drive by the Saudi government, which hopes to create more business opportunities and become a regional film hub. But it’s a tough place to be a filmmaker.
 

University of Texas Press
April 21, 2018 | NPR · This collection of essays by novelist and scholar Joanna Russ was first published in 1983 — but it reads as if it might’ve come out last week. “Get angry; then get a reading list,” says our critic.
 

Music

AFP/Getty Images
April 20, 2018 | NPR · Conductor Marin Alsop muses on the power of ballet and her memories of watching choreographer George Balanchine bring the music of Tchaikovsky to life with the New York City Ballet.
 

April 20, 2018 | NPR · Chicago jazz mainstay Willie Pickens died this past December at age 86. Revisit his performance with McPartland in this 1997 episode of Piano Jazz.
 

April 20, 2018 | NPR · Swedish musician and DJ Avicii has died at 28. NPR’s Ari Shaprio talks with KCRW’s Jason Bentley about his career.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab