Shortly after Colorado Springs City Council passed the downtown no-solicitation ordinance, we began a Big Something series exploring the ways in which this ban is perceived by the people it affects. Our first piece featured interviews with a local street musician and a self-described “houseless” man, both of whom expressed frustration with the ordinance and discussed the role of “panhandling” in their lives. Our second installment featured a conversation with downtown business owner and former city council member Richard Skorman about his reasons for supporting for the ban. Though a federal judge recently issued an injunction against the ordinance on First Amendment grounds, meaning the ban will be held at bay indefinitely, we feel it’s important to continue the conversation about panhandling and homelessness in Colorado Springs.

Matt Parkhouse. Photo Credit: Westside Pioneer.

Matt Parkhouse. Photo Credit: Westside Pioneer.

In this third installment of the “Handling Panhandling” series, we speak with Matt Parkhouse, a registered nurse who has been working with and on behalf homeless people in Colorado Springs since the 1970s. Over the course of the last 40 years, Parkhouse has seen how panhandling figures into the larger issue of homelessness in Colorado Springs. In this interview, he argues that the city’s longtime tolerance of panhandling, coupled with the no-strings-attached philosophy of many local charities, has created its own set of challenges for the homeless population in this community. Listen below to hear Parkhouse explain his position on the no-solicitation ordinance and his take on how the city could better address the problem of “chronic homelessness”.

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.


Handling Panhandling: Part 3 – Matt Parkhouse

 

3 Responses to Handling Panhandling: Part 3

  1. rose enyeart says:

    Thank you for the wonderful report on homelessness. It does help to know from someone who has experience, first hand, that our “help” is more clearly “avoidance of the problem” than actual help. How do we manage to really reach out and help those who can be helped?

  2. Deena Bennett says:

    What are the specific organizations that Mr. Parkhouse refers to who will help people who don’t want to be homeless? How can the media spotlight available resources and let people know that giving money to the homeless is counter-productive?

  3. Mary Ann Tabor says:

    Very insightful interview and thoughtful responses, too. Mr. Parkhouse’s comments on perpetuating the problem are eye-opening. Thank you for running this series on panhandling.

News

Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images
July 26, 2017 | NPR · A dengue fever outbreak has left some hospitals so full that they’re turning away patients.
 

.
July 26, 2017 | NPR · The pioneering hip-hop radio duo drop by the Code Switch podcast to talk about making their way in a traditionally black genre and their new NPR interview show, What’s Good? with Stretch & Bobbito.
 

July 26, 2017 | NPR · “Today is a great victory for pregnancy care centers,” Gov. Eric Greitens said after lawmakers approved the legislation.
 

Arts & Life

Universal
July 26, 2017 | NPR · The “surprising” success of the raunch-com Girls Trip didn’t particularly surprise us; we talk about precisely where this “out-of-nowhere” hit came from.
 

.
July 26, 2017 | NPR · The pioneering hip-hop radio duo drop by the Code Switch podcast to talk about making their way in a traditionally black genre and their new NPR interview show, What’s Good? with Stretch & Bobbito.
 

July 26, 2017 | NPR · In Strange Practice, Vivian Shaw kicks off a new series about Dr. Greta Helsing, descendant of the famous Professor Abraham Van Helsing and general practitioner to the ghouls and ghasts of London.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
July 26, 2017 | NPR · With lush synths and a funky motorik rhythm section, “Mystic” is a celestial wave of chill.
 

Getty Images
July 26, 2017 | NPR · The second album by Rickie Lee Jones was released in 1981, following a breakup and the response to Jones’ Grammy-winning debut, and gets its name and its concept from a band of local drug smugglers.
 

Courtesy of the artist
July 26, 2017 | NPR · Texas-based songwriter Hannah Read says she spent several years trying to write the song, inspired by a tall tale her brother would tell about Smith. “‘Out There’ is about never knowing,” Read says.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab