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

AP
September 3, 2015 | NPR · Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the refugees flooding a train station in Budapest are really Germany’s problem, because that’s where most of them want to go.
 

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida
September 3, 2015 | NPR · Though it may sound like an oxymoron, Native Americans have been riding horses and roping cattle for centuries in the Sunshine State.
 

AP
September 3, 2015 | NPR · Brady appealed a suspension handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in federal court. The judge sided with Brady.
 

Arts & Life

September 3, 2015 | NPR · Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will get a kick out of Wayward, a graphic novel series that takes the magical-teens-battling-evil-monsters trope and transplants it to a lovingly-rendered Tokyo.
 

September 3, 2015 | NPR · Zen Cho’s new novel is a charming, character-driven romance, set in a magic-ridden Regency England — but there are serious questions of race and class underpinning the light-hearted action.
 

AP
September 2, 2015 | NPR · Actor Dean Jones, who starred in The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and other classic Walt Disney movies, also played the role of Bobby in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.
 

Music

September 3, 2015 | WXPN · With Nashville blood coursing through his heart, the singer embodies the spirit of his hometown.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 3, 2015 | NPR · The band’s bummer jams are bona fide: Just hit play and proceed to heave your body in sadness. But on its new album, the noise-rock band isn’t always obvious in how it chooses to be heavy.
 

KCRW
September 3, 2015 | KCRW · The Vancouver singer performs “Leaving Los Angeles,” which pays homage to homesick heartache.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab