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

AFP/Getty Images
November 25, 2014 | NPR · Saying he understands the frustrations of people who feel they’re not treated fairly under the law, President Obama also said, “I have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities.”
 

NPR
November 25, 2014 | NPR · Demand for locally raised birds is growing faster than small farms can keep pace with. One New England farmer is making a bold move to get more gobblers to the table.
 

NPR
November 25, 2014 | NPR · The U.S. had planned to build 17 treatment units across Liberia, one in each county’s major town. Now that more cases are appearing in remote areas, the Army may need to rethink its strategy.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
November 25, 2014 | NPR · Demand for locally raised birds is growing faster than small farms can keep pace with. One New England farmer is making a bold move to get more gobblers to the table.
 

Riverhead
November 25, 2014 | NPR · Years after her grandfather’s death, Sarah Wildman discovered letters from a young woman he’d left behind in Vienna in the 1930s. So Wildman set out to find her grandfather’s true love.
 

November 25, 2014 | NPR · Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume from the Wizard of Oz, the piano from Casablanca, and Radio Raheem’s boombox from Do the Right Thing are some of the pieces of Hollywood memorabilia that sold at auction Monday night in New York.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
November 25, 2014 | NPR · Jimmy Greene’s new album is dedicated to his daughter, one of the 20 children killed in the elementary school shooting. “She showed love,” he says, “to everybody she came in contact with.”
 

November 25, 2014 | NPR · It’s not too early to be releasing Christmas albums, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has been listening to a lot of them.
 

WireImage
November 25, 2014 | NPR · After decades of performing, the celebrated soprano’s enthusiasm for music is irresistible. She chooses some of her favorite recordings for an informal session of listening and conversation.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab