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Controversy Emerges Over Funding For City’s Homeless Coalition

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver city councilman is raising questions about the funding for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless after it has asked the council for increased funding for the third time this year.

That follows up almost five years of increased funding, including an $18 million jump in 2010.

The current request is for $850,000, but it’s from the federal budget. It’s aimed at providing rental assistance to help families and individuals.

“I don’t care if these are city funds, state funds or federal funds. They’re still taxpayer money. What are we getting in return?” City Councilman Charlie Brown said.

It was the coalition’s tax records from 2010 that prompted Brown to take a closer look at the coalition. He said the perception of the organization isn’t a reality.

Tax records show the coalition employes nearly 500 people with a payroll of $17.5 million a year in wages and benefits.

Those same records show seven administrators make six figures salaries. The president, John Parvensky, recieved a raise of almost $12,000 in 2010, bumping his salary to $187,000 a year.

denver city council Controversy Emerges Over Funding For Citys Homeless Coalition

Denver City Council (credit: CBS)

“It’s much more expensive to let people stay on the streets and do nothing than provide quality housing and services,” Parvensky said.

The coalition spends about $7 million on property and serves about 15,000 people.

The nonprofit has struggled with fundraising. In 2010, it lost almost $63,000 on its fundraising efforts.

colorado coalition for the homeless Controversy Emerges Over Funding For Citys Homeless Coalition

Colorado Coalition For The Homeless (credit: CBS)

But Parvensky says the organization needs the increased funding to meet the increased need.

“With the economy continuing to be distressed we’re seeing more and more individuals are still becoming homeless,” Parvensky said.

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