Panhandlers are becoming a fixture throughout the Salt Lake Valley, asking for help on street corners, freeway off-ramps and business entrances. Last month, a federal judge ruled Utah’s anti-panhandling law was unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, but some business owners worry aggressive panhandlers are chasing away customers. On Monday, we’ll talk about the finding the balance between protecting free speech and minimizing intimidation.
- Brian Barnard, civil rights attorney
- Jason Mathis, Downtown Alliance
- Kathy Bray, Volunteers of America-Utah
Many budding musicians start by strumming in the garage, but dream of moving to the stage. A local non-profit provides a venue for musicians to practice after school, jam with friends or even cut that first CD. On Monday, we’ll learn more about Musicgarage.org and why they’re looking for community support.
- Steve Auerbach, Musicgarage.org
- Michael Lucarelli, classical guitarist
Lucarelli will perform at a benefit concert for Musicgarage.org on Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m. at the Musicgarage.org warehouse, 389 W. 1700 South, Salt Lake City. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. More information here.
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I frequently hear the suggestion repeated on the show to give donations to groups rather than individual panhandlers. However, I also understand there are groups that tend to fall through the cracks. In particular, I have heard that many Christian groups focus on “worthy poor” sorts and those such as LGBT youth or other “sinners” tend to not receive the same assistance. Similarly, youth fleeing their legal guardians or paranoid individuals have a hard time working with social service organizations.