Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), established in 1984, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization seeking to help end homelessness in Colorado.[1] As of December 2009, the Coalition has fourteen members on the Board of Directors,[2] six members on the Consumer Advisory Board,[3] and twenty members on the Leadership Staff.[4]


The mission of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is to work collaboratively toward the prevention of homelessness and the creation of lasting solutions for homeless and at-risk families, children, and individuals throughout Colorado.

The Coalition advocates for and provides a continuum of housing and a variety of services to improve the health, well-being and stability of those it serves.

Since its founding almost 25 years ago, the organization has earned state and national recognition for its integrated healthcare, housing and service programs.

The Coalition’s comprehensive approach addresses the causes of homelessness, as well as the consequences, offering critical assistance to over 15,000 individuals and families each year.

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) was established in 1984 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It was founded by a group of individuals with a will to take action on behalf of Colorado’s homeless. They recognized the struggles of working people living in poverty. And they refused to tolerate the dangers faced by those people sleeping in their cars, in tents or on the streets.

Nearly 25 years later, many of the underlying social causes of homelessness persist, like poverty, shortages of affordable housing, and unattainable healthcare. The Coalition’s integrated housing, healthcare and supportive service programs have been highly effective at responding to these conditions over time

A major milestone for the organization was the opening of Stout Street Clinic in 1985 thanks to a $1.6 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Since the Clinic’s grand opening and subsequent expansion in 2002, the Coalition has become the leading healthcare provider for the homeless in Colorado. The Clinic includes primary and pediatric care, an eye clinic, a full-service pharmacy, a dental clinic, mental health and substance abuse treatment, respite care and health outreach.

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has been honored with a number of awards over the years. In 2002, the Coalition’s President, John Parvensky, received the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, recognizing his unique vision and leadership. Four of our affordable housing properties have earned national recognition: Renaissance at Loretto Heights, Renaissance at Concord Plaza, Renaissance at Civic Center and The Forum Apartments. In 2008, President George W. Bush personally presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award to Cherie Yeager, a volunteer with the Stout Street Eye Clinic.

At the Colorado State Capitol, the Coalition has successfully advocated for more than a dozen major legislative efforts aimed at reducing homelessness, expanding affordable housing and protecting individual rights. The Tax Check-off Homeless Prevention Fund, passed in 1989, raised over $1 million in its first five years. More recently the 2008 Warranty of Habitability holds landlords accountable for providing safe, habitable residential properties and gives renters legal recourse when that minimum standard isn’t met.

Looking forward, the Coalition will continue to work at local, state and federal levels to raise awareness and to find lasting solutions to homelessness.


The organization is funded by contributions from various foundations, organizations, and individuals.[5] The Coalition has received $1.9 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration to purchase Electronic Health Record systems.[6] In November 2009, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless received a $150,000 grant from the Daniels Fund for a program that provides hotel vouchers and supportive services for the homeless.[7]


In 2002, John Parvensky, the Coalition’s President, was bestowed the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, in recognition for his vision and leadership.[8] Four of the organization's housing properties—Renaissance at Loretto Heights, Renaissance at Concord Plaza, Renaissance at Civic Center and The Forum Apartments—have received national awards, from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Fannie Mae Foundation, among others.[9][10][11][12] In 2008, President George W. Bush presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award to Cherie Yeager, a volunteer in the Stout Street Eye Clinic.[13]


• The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
• Kathleen Mullen, one of the organization's founders, became the Coalition’s first Board President.
• Mary Ann Gleason became the first Executive Director.

• The Coalition’s Stout Street Clinic opened with a $1.6 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation.

• John Parvensky became the Coalition’s second Executive Director.
• The Coalition hosted its first State Conference on Homelessness, with special guest Mitch Snyder, from the Center for Non-Violence in Washington D.C.

• Congress passed the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the first and only federal statutory response to homelessness.
• The Coalition published the first edition of its Homeless Advocate newsletter.
• Dom Verrastro became the Coalition’s second Board President.

• The Coalition opened the Ruth Goebel House, a 12-bed group home providing transitional housing for homeless women with mental illness.
• The Coalition’s Stout Street Clinic moved across the street from 2100 Stout Street to its present location at 2100 Broadway.
• The Coalition was approved for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds to provide transitional housing for 15 homeless individuals and families.

• Governor Roy Romer’s Homeless Task Force released its report: "The Colorado Approach: Shared Accountability."
• A new state law (Senate Bill 157) creates the Tax Check-off Fund to End Homelessness. The fund raises $245,000 in its first year.

• The Coalition was one of nine organizations around the country chosen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a Homeless Families Program.
• The Coalition opened Forest Manor, in Aurora, its first large-scale affordable housing community with supportive services.

• Monsignor Charles Woodrich died. Known as "Father Woody" throughout Denver, Woodrich was a tireless advocate for the city’s poor and homeless.

• The Coalition began to offer mental health care through the federally funded Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program.
• The Coalition began to participate on a Lowry Housing Committee in anticipation of closure of the Lowry Air Force Base.
• Don Parsons became the Coalition’s third Board President.

• The Quigg Newton Family Health Center, a collaborative project involving the Coalition, Denver Health, and the Denver Housing Authority, opened.
• Governor Roy Romer signed a resolution declaring HOPE Week (Homeless Organizations for Public Education), a campaign initiated by the Coalition.
• The Coalition convened a Substance Abuse Task Force.
• Mary Helen Sandoval became the Coalition’s fourth Board President.

• Lowry Air Force Base was decommissioned and closed.
• The Coalition established the Inclusive Communities Task Force to address neighborhood opposition to housing for the homeless.

• The Coalition developed the Rural Initiatives Project, with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to provide services to rural communities in Colorado.
• The Coalition established the Bridges Program at Stout Street Clinic for homeless individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.

• The Coalition converted a former office building near Civic Center Park into 100 efficiency apartments, creating The Forum - the first permanent, supportive housing program for formerly homeless men and women in downtown Denver.

• The Coalition joined the Advocates Against Domestic Violence to establish the "Trinidad Family Transitional Housing Program", the first of its kind to be created in Trinidad, Colorado.

• The Coalition’s Renaissance at Concord Plaza opened in Jefferson County, a property modeled after Renaissance at Loretto Heights.
• The Coalition earns special recognition from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for "capacity building and outstanding performance."

• The Coalition’s Renaissance Children’s Center opened adjacent to Renaissance at Concord Plaza, providing early childhood education.
• The Coalition opened Beacon Place, an 85-bed facility to provide room and board for formerly homeless residents. Respite care was also provided for homeless individuals just discharged from the hospital.
• An all-volunteer staffed Eye Clinic started offering basic eye exams, referrals, and prescription glasses at the Coalition’s Stout Street Clinic.

• The Coalition, with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, implemented the Balance of State Continuum of Care, which enabled rural service providers to apply for federal homeless assistance grants.
• The Coalition completed a successful negotiation and settlement with the Lowry Redevelopment Authority, acquiring 92 units of existing housing at the former Air Force Base and nine acres for construction of an additional 120 units.

• The Coalition developed and began implementing a comprehensive substance abuse program, the Open Door Addiction Treatment Program for homeless adults.
• The Coalition completed the purchase and renovation of 2111 Champa Street to expand space for client supportive services and to relocate its administrative offices.
• The Coalition successfully lobbied for the passage of a new state law (House Bill 01-1334) to create a property tax exemption for non-profit housing developments.

• Renaissance Off Broadway Lofts became the first modern, affordable rental loft development in Denver’s history.
• The Coalition acquired the historic YMCA building off of Lincoln and 16th Street in downtown Denver and began major renovations on the property that became the Renaissance Civic Center Apartments.
• The Stout Street Clinic underwent a major expansion, adding treatment rooms and staff, to provide critical healthcare for an average of 100 patients a day.
• The Health Outreach Program (HOP) was launched. The mobile medical clinic began delivering healthcare to adults and children frequenting foodbanks, motels and shelters around the metropolitan Denver area.
• The Coalition opened Renaissance Blue Spruce Townhomes at Lowry, its first affordable housing development in one of Denver’s new destination neighborhoods.

• The Coalition opened Renaissance at Lowry Boulevard Apartments, to provide housing to 120 formerly homeless and working families.
• The Coalition became the lead agency for the Denver Housing First Collaborative, a program that seeks to save tax payer dollars and end chronic homelessness.
• The Coalition developed the Benefits Acquisition and Retention Team (BART) program.

• The Coalition’s new Dental Clinic opened at 2111 Champa Street, the first facility in Denver dedicated exclusively to providing oral care for the homeless.
• The Coalition opened Renaissance Civic Center Apartments, to provide affordable living and supportive housing in the heart of downtown Denver.

• Denver adopted its 10 year plan to end homelessness known as Denver’s Road Home.
• The Coalition collaborated with the city of Denver on the 16th Street Housing First Program and the Denver Street Outreach Collaborative.

• The Coalition played a major role in restoring $1 million in state funding for mental health, drug and alcohol abuse services.
• The Coalition hosted the 20th State Conference on Homelessness, bringing together hundreds of providers from across the state for training and networking.
• The Coalition, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, created the Rural/Frontier Women’s Health Coordinating Center in northern Colorado to improve health issues of women living in rural areas.

• The Coalition’s new custom, 47-foot mobile medical unit replaces the original Health Outreach Program vehicle, to deliver comprehensive healthcare for individuals and families unable to reach the Stout Street Clinic.

• The Coalition acquires and renovates Renaissance 88, its first affordable housing community in the city of Thornton.

• Recognizing the need to find immediate shelter for clients preparing to enter other programs, the Coalition opens Gateway, a former motel on Colorado Boulevard.

• Governor Bill Ritter convenes Colorado’s Community and Interagency Council on Homelessness, with Coalition President John Parvensky serving as Vice Chairman.

• The Coalition’s Stout Street Clinic receives a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Heroes in the Fight Award.


• The Coalition is part of the successful campaign to pass the National Housing Trust Fund legislation, the country’s first dedicated source of revenue for affordable housing. The bill is signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 30, 2008.

• The Coalition breaks ground on Renaissance Riverfront Lofts, the city’s first affordable green housing site, located in the booming loft development area just northwest of Downtown Denver.

• Plans are unveiled for Renaissance Uptown Lofts, a property on the corner of Pearl and Colfax, which will bring another 98 affordable and supportive housing to downtown Denver.

• The Coalition is instrumental in the passage of Colorado’s Warranty of Habitability (House Bill 08-1356). The new state law holds landlords accountable for providing safe, habitable residential properties and gives renters legal recourse when that minimum standard isn’t met.

• President George W. Bush presents the President’s Volunteer Service Award to Cherie Yager, an optician and volunteer with the Coalition’s Stout Street Eye Clinic.

• Colorado Community Health Network recognizes the Coalition for four community health programs: Colorado Women’s Wellness Connection, Health Disparities Collaborative, Healthy Women Outreach Project, and Colorado Colorectal Screening Program.

• Renaissance at Civic Center earns a MetLife Foundation first place award for “Excellence in Affordable Housing.”

• Renaissance at Civic Center earns a Maxwell Award of Excellence from the Fannie Mae Foundation.

• Riverfront Lofts wins “Judges Special Award for Outstanding Community Contribution” Gold Hardhat Awards, Colorado Construction Magazine.[15]

Media coverage[edit]

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, along with The Ronald McDonald House, Warren Village, the Bal Swan Children's Center, SafeHouse Denver, the Colorado Chapter of the MS Society, Doctors Care, and the Anchor Center for Blind Children and Big Brothers-Big Sisters, was named as one of a few worthy causes supported by the Season to Share program.[16] The organization was also reported to provide food to needy preschoolers,[17] and to provide housing to homeless veterans in Colorado.[18]

Leadership Staff[edit]

Our Executive Team and Department Directors are continually mindful of how the interests and needs of homeless persons will best be served. Together with their leadership and the hard work, dedication and innovation of more than 400 employees and 350 volunteers, the Coalition reached significant new milestones of success in 2008. We provided housing for nearly 2,100 individuals and families, expanded our medical facilities, enabling us to provide health care to 12,228 patients, and helped more people than ever before.

John Parvensky President and CEO

Louise O. Boris Vice President of Programs

Elizabeth Cookson Director of Psychiatry

Tye Deines Director of Human Resources

Mary Lea Forington Director of Health Services

James Ginsburg Director of Substance Treatment Services and Housing First

Bette Iacino Director of Education and Advocacy

Dave Klimut Director of Housing Development

Michelle Lapidow Director of Mental Health Services

Terri Little Executive Assistant

Tim Marshall Director of Residential and Vocational Services

Stanley Eilert Vice President of Operations

Mark Miller Mastro Director of Rental Assistance

Dave Moore Comptroller

Jennifer Perlman Director of BART, DSOC and Community Resources

Susie Street Director of Family Support Services and Renaissance Children's Center

Scott Strong Director of Program Evaluations and Quality Assurance

Jerry Valdes Director of Property Operations

Roz Wheeler-Bell Director of Homeless Prevention/Rapid Re-housing

Jennifer N. Wilson Director of Resource Development and Marketing

Judith Wilson Medical Director

Annual Reports[edit]

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Annual Report shows our progress in Creating Lasting Solutions to Homelessness. It includes information about our organization's growth and an overview of work completed during the past year.

2008 Annual Report [1]
2007 Annual Report
2006 Annual Report [2]

John Parvensky, President and CEO Bio[edit]

John Parvensky has served as the President and CEO of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless since 1986. In this capacity, he has spearheaded the development of over 1,400 affordable housing units throughout the Denver Metropolitan area and directed the day-to-day activities of an organization that delivers housing, healthcare, mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment, counseling and other supportive services to more than 15,000 homeless men, women and children, each year.

Mr. Parvensky was instrumental in the creation and passage of the McKinney-Vento Act, the first federal legislation ever dedicated to homeless assistance programs. Through his guidance, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has become a national leader in developing model healthcare programs for homeless persons, while creating a new way of providing integrated, supportive housing for homeless and at-risk families and individuals. Coalition programs such as “Housing First” for chronically homeless individuals and rapid re-housing for families with children have become a standard embraced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies.

In April 2009, Mr. Parvensky was elected to a two-year term as President of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), the nation's oldest and largest homeless advocacy organization. Mr. Parvensky is a member of Denver’s Commission to End Homelessness and Vice Chair of Colorado’s Interagency Council on Homelessness. He is a member of the National Health Care for the Homeless Board of Directors and a member of the community advisory board of JPMorgan Chase Bank. In 2002, he was awarded the prestigious Leadership for a Changing World Award from the Ford Foundation. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our History". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "Board of Directors". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Consumer Advisory Board". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Leadership Staff". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Colorado Coalition for the Homeless: 2008 Annual Report". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "HRSA beefs up community clinic networks". Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Daniels Fund awards $5.5M in grants". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Milestones 2001 to Present". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Our History". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  10. ^ "Milestones 1990-1995". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Milestones 1996-2000". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "Milestones 2001 to Present". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  13. ^ "Milestones 2001 to Present". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  14. ^ "Milestones". Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  15. ^ "". 
  16. ^ "Paige: Basket of Joy helps many who are hurting". Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  17. ^ "Pre-schoolers share tasty lesson of Stone Soup". Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  18. ^ "COLORADO BRIEFS". The Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 

External links[edit]

National and Local Organizations[edit]

This is a partial list of the many local Coalition for the Homeless branches in the United States.