The State of Panhandling downtown

Resident in Laramie County feels panhandlers freedom of speech is being infringed upon with “help homeless boxes” in the Depot.
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The state of panhandling in Cheyenne is up for debate.

“It is a good thing that they are collecting money for the agencies and stuff but it’s not a good thing that they are saying stop panhandling. It’s protected free speech, it’s a supreme court decision you can find on the internet,” Local Street Musician and longtime Cheyenne resident, Earl Janack said.

Locally some view this issue, as well not much of a problem at all. Poverty has it’s place in the Capital City, although standing on public corners asking for money doesn’t seem to bother the masses.

Law enforcement’s outlook on the matter gives a positive light as well.

We don’t want to see people out on the streets, we don’t want to make those arrests. We look to resolve the issue, rather than a temporary fix of giving them a fine or putting them in jail,” Cheyenne Police Department’s, Public Information Officer, Alexandria Farkas said.

A wide variety of services exist locally things like food and clothing donations and street outreach, also providing housing and shelter.

However this street musician says he doesn’t necessarily agree with the methods used to help the homeless in the downtown area.

That was my experience that led to my 25-year journey on becoming a first amendment advocate for the rights of the homeless and street musicians. Now getting people interested in this or backing me up, nobody wants to get involved.

In a city where helping the fellow man is prevalent, leaders say with the ordinances in place, there’s not much that can be done to prevent panhandling.

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