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Reader: Whatever it is we're doing about panhandlers, it's not working

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Panhandling in Colorado Springs has gotten to the point that it seems like there's someone at just about every intersection throughout the city. I have sympathy for those in need, but I see way too many panhandlers that appear to be healthy enough to hold some type of employment.

Of course, my observations don't take into account mental illness and other unseen problems, but it seems that there are a large number of people, young adults in particular, that seem like they could work, even if it was manual labor of some type or other minimum-wage work.

In my world, where I make the rules, panhandlers would be required to produce a license if stopped by law enforcement. Panhandling licenses would be issued to those who qualify due to disability (physical or mental) and for other reasons that prevent them from gaining employment. Drug and alcohol problems would not be qualifiers for a panhandling license.

Whatever the current laws are and whatever programs exist to help reduce the number of panhandlers and homeless in Colorado Springs, they are not working and solutions need to be found.

— Dennis Williams, Colorado Springs

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