There was a nice interview with Neil Donovan of the National Coalition for the Homeless today on the radio program Here and Now out of WBUR from Boston. The show featured a lengthy discussion about panhandling and some of the disturbing trends in homelessness on the Tuesday Feb. 12 program. If you can get beyond the Boston heavy accents and expressions, it is a very good program. This program is nice because they give the guests a chance to talk beyond just the sound bytes. Neil discussed criminalization of homelessness, the affordable housing crisis, the exploding numbers at the shelters and plenty of shout outs to Pine Street Shelter system in Boston on this national radio show. Neil felt that there was a level of compassion that is taken out of the equation when cities pass laws directed at panhandlers or install parking meters to take donations. He made the point that if municipal governments were going to outlaw panhandling they should also include Girl Scouts, the Salvation Army, and firefighters during Labor Day weekend in that ban. It was a very good interview and if you did not catch it, you should listen to his interview which was lasts around 16 to 18 minutes.