By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, Colo.) John Parvensky is retiring after 36 years as president and CEO of Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
Parvensky built the organization from a small advocacy group with a staff of six and a $100,000 budget in 1985 into a nationally recognized leader in providing integrated health care and building innovative housing for people experiencing homelessness. The organization now has a staff of 750 and a $100 million operating budget.
He pioneered innovative strategies to leverage nearly $1 billion of capital investments to build more than 2,500 housing units and a healthcare facility for those experiencing homelessness.
“John has consistently challenged the status quo to advocate for the underserved and forgotten, promoting their health, wellbeing and stability while inspiring the coalition’s staff members to be equally tenacious,” said Joel Neckers, chair of the coalition’s board. “Thanks to his leadership, Denver and Colorado have become national leaders in helping people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. While John focuses on big-picture solutions, he is never too busy to connect with coalition clients, residents, patients and on-the-ground staff — honoring the inherent dignity of all.”
Parvensky expanded the coalition’s reach to serve more than 22,000 people a year. The organization has built 20 housing developments, providing more than 2,500 affordable homes. It also administers about 2,000 housing vouchers on behalf of Denver, the state of Colorado and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“While John will leave huge shoes to fill, we expect this exciting leadership opportunity to attract highly qualified candidates who want to build on the strong, lasting foundation he has created,” Neckers said. “Homelessness is one of Colorado’s great crises, and it will take all of us working together to make continued progress. John has positioned us well to continue to do that.”