Letter: Handouts to beggars worsen their problems... city's tooI have been involved with various homeless-aiding organizations for over 40 years and have never observed a person exit the streets via panhandling. A huge percentage of your "donation" goes toward booze, drugs and cigarettes - so, go ahead, help an addict destroy his/herself... Thanks to all of the handouts from agencies and individuals, the EPA is becoming concerned at all the "stuff" that is collecting in and near our waterways. Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful does a presentation on just how much "generosity" they fish out of Fountain and Monument Creeks on a regular basis.
Our town has a real reputation as being "a good place to be homeless." The soft-hearted and soft-headed people handing out money is part of this reputation. Some communities stress accountability as a key part of their response to the needs of the homeless, ours unfortunately, often does not. The efforts of our agencies, while helping many off our streets, unfortunately also provide the wherewithal for a very visible percentage of our homeless to remain on our streets.
Please do help and give, but whether it is through a car window or a contribution to a non-profit, please ask a few questions first.
Matthew Parkhouse, RN
(Posted 2/8/16; Opinion: Letters)