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 19, 2015 | NPR · The vessel, carrying would-be migrants, appears to have been headed for the Italian island of Lampedusa.
 

April 19, 2015 | NPR · The Boston Marathon bombing two years ago changed how organizers run the annual race. Despite stepped-up security, 1 million fans will be cheering on runners from the sidelines on Monday.
 

April 19, 2015 | NPR · One year ago, 16 Nepalis guiding climbers up Mount Everest were swept away by a hanging glacier that had peeled off the mountain. It was the worst single accident in the history of Everest.
 

Arts & Life

April 19, 2015 | NPR · For each word starting with “W,” think of another word, also starting with “W,” that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
 

April 19, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks to author Elizabeth Alexander about her new memoir, The Light of the World.
 

April 19, 2015 | NPR · Writer Kate Bolick says that, growing up, she just assumed she’d get married some day — but it hasn’t happened. Her new book looks at five women who upend traditional assumptions about women’s lives.
 

Music

NPR
April 19, 2015 | NPR · As graduation nears, the four students of The Howard Project share the songs that have carried them through the past four years — from “He Has His Hands On You” to India.Arie’s “Beautiful Surprise.”
 

Courtesy of Guitar Center
April 19, 2015 | NPR · New York musician Noah Wall surreptitiously recorded amateurs fiddling with guitars, pianos, keyboards, drums and more at a Guitar Center. He captured a lot of bad music and some wild ambition.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 19, 2015 | NPR · For about two years, Marina Diamandis donned a platinum-blonde wig and became Electra Heart. But the pop singer has ditched her alter ego for a sound and persona that’s all her own.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab