By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– A center that focuses on helping homeless veterans may be out of its offices at the end of the month. The reason is a dispute over money.

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The owners of the building at 30th and Downing Street in Denver say the Department of Veterans Affairs owes them. The VA refused to comment but said that the Department of Justice is trying to resolve the issue.

Melvin Ware (credit: CBS)

Melvin Ware (credit: CBS)

For those who served their country, the VA Community Resources and Referral Center is where their country serves them.

Melvin Ware is a homeless veteran who served in the U.S. Navy.

He told CBS4, “I’m not asking for a hand out I’m asking for a hand up and I’m proud to say I served our country… this country.”

The center provides housing assistance, showers, laundry and more.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Now the owners of the building say the VA could be out when its lease expires Jan. 31.

Homeless veteran George Ward said, ”I think that somebody needs to look deep into their heart and let them do the good work they do for us.”

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While CBS4 was there two representatives from the VA visited the owners of the building, delivering a message.

The building’s owner, Barbara Matthews, said the dispute amounted to, “You owe us… we overpaid you and you owe us… we don’t owe you.”

The VA said it could not comment on the dispute except to say it and the Department of Justice are trying to resolve this issue.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger interviews Daniel Warvi, spokesman for VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare Systems (credit: CBS)

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger interviews Daniel Warvi, spokesman for VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare Systems (credit: CBS)

“It’s a key part of VA program to end homelessness we’ve cut homelessness in half since 2010,” said Daniel Warvi, spokesman for VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare Systems.

Many of those who benefit from this program hope it will stay.

Ward added, “Because without them there would be no us.”

George Ward (credit: CBS)

George Ward (credit: CBS)

And Ware said, “I’m down on my luck without this place. I don’t know what I am doing.”

The VA Resource Office is in The Matthews Center run by former CU football star
Bo Matthews. Matthews operates a program for the homeless called the “Center for Excellence.”

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.