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What You Need to Know about Panhandling in Fort Collins

Panhandling is protected speech under the First Amendment and is legal in Fort Collins. However, the City of Fort Collins Solicitation Ordinance does prohibit panhandling (defined as knowingly approaching, accosting, or stopping another person in a public place and soliciting for a gift of money or thing of value): 

  • ½ hour before sunset to ½ hour before sunrise
  • In a manner that is threatening, intimidating, coercive or obscene
  • Touching or grabbing a person being solicited
  • Following and continuing to solicit a person who declines
  • Obstructing free passage of pedestrians on public sidewalks
  • Within 100 feet of an ATM or bus stop
  • On a public bus
  • In parking structures, lots or other parking facilities
  • From a person in a vehicle
  • From customers in outdoor seating areas

If you encounter any of these prohibited behaviors, you may call 221-6540 and report it to the Fort Collins Police. 


….. If you do not feel there is a safety issue, communicate with the individual that the behavior is in violation of rules set by the City of Fort Collins. Ask the individual to kindly stop, move on or otherwise advise them of services available to help them obtain food, shelter or other services.



Real Help for Those in Need

Giving change to panhandlers is not providing them with the help they need.

Fort Collins is a generous community that provides options for all – especially those in need.  A broad range of free services are available to those in need, homeless or experiencing economic hardship.

A sample of community resources:

United Way of Larimer County 2-1-1............ 211 or 407-7066

Police/Fire Emergency..........911

Fort Collins Police Services (non-emergency)............221-6540

Emergency Shelters Catholic Charities............484-5010

Fort Collins Rescue Mission................224-4302

Murphy Center for Hope (Day Center)....................494-9940

Mental Health Services Touchstone Health Partners..............494-4300

Foundation on Aging for Larimer County............310-4900 


Note: United Way of Larimer County 2-1-1 is the best way to receive information and referral because resources change. This list is a starting point and is not intended to include all available resources.