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

ProPublica
February 27, 2015 | ProPublica · Since 2009, a federal watchdog has levied only 22 penalties against health care organizations for failing to safeguard information about patients.
 

Jorge Cham/PhD Comics
February 27, 2015 | HechRep · Only one in five Ph.D.s in science, engineering and health end up with faculty teaching or research positions within five years of completing their degrees. But universities keep churning them out.
 

PA Photos/Landov
February 27, 2015 | NPR · The 70-year-old, best known for the stadium rock anthem “Rock & Roll (Part 2),” was convicted for sex offenses during the 1970s and ’80s against three girls between the ages of 8 and 13.
 

Arts & Life

 NPR
February 27, 2015 | NPR · It’s a week of good TV as we say farewell to Pawnee, Indiana and dive into the story of Breaking Bad‘s grimy defense attorney, who now has his own prequel.
 

February 27, 2015 | NPR · For years, black authors stood out in science fiction and fantasy because there were so few. Now, says Alaya Dawn Johnson, though there are still obstacles, black authors are making themselves heard.
 

Courtesy of Netflix
February 27, 2015 | NPR · New episodes of Netflix’s House of Cards debut today, and NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says this season’s challenges may please critics who say the show’s vision of Washington, D.C., runs too smoothly.
 

Music

Getty Images
February 27, 2015 | NPR · Host Marian McPartland accompanies the renowned lyricists and songwriters on “The Way We Were” and “Nice ‘n’ Easy.”
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 27, 2015 | NPR · McKay and host Michael Feinstein team up for “Pennies from Heaven” and “The Nearness of You,” and she performs her original “Beneath the Underdog.”
 

Netflix
February 26, 2015 | NPR · The show’s distinctive score is the work of Jeff Beal, who ushers viewers into its clandestine, manipulative and sometimes violent world by breaking a few musical rules.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab