Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Denver Cutting Funding For Homeless

What will DOC do if Denver stops accepting homeless parolees and demands that DOC take care of their own?

The city of Denver plans to cut nearly a fourth of its funding for homeless initiatives just as the city's homeless population has risen dramatically during the economic downturn.

The cuts, and the increase in the homeless population, have prompted advocacy groups to declare a state of emergency.

"The situation is bleak," John Parvensky, president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, said at a news conference Wednesday morning. "And we're running the risk of having more deaths on the street."

Authorities say 140 people have died this year from causes either attributed to or made worse by living on the streets, a 38 percent increase over last year. Denver County Coroner Dr. Amy Martin said the most common causes of death of people living on the streets are chronic alcoholism, acute intoxication from alcohol and drugs, untreated conditions such as diabetes, emphysema or pneumonia, as well as unnatural causes like traffic accidents and drownings.

"Alcohol plays a huge role in this population, either directly or indirectly," she said.

A vigil for those who have died on the streets this year will be held at 5:30 p.m. today on the steps of the City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St. The public is invited.

Homeless numbers are increasing significantly, Parvensky said.

The Denver Rescue Mission served an additional 5,000 meals this October compared with October 2007 and provided 1,000 additional shelter nights, he said, and Jefferson County has seen a 100 percent increase in the number of families seeking emergency food and shelter.

But resources, public and private, are dwindling, Parvensky said.

The Colorado Department of Health and Human Services is cutting its budget by 2.5 percent, while Denver's Department of Human Services is cutting its homeless budget by 24 percent, or $1.4 million, effective March 31, according to Parvensky.

Pat Pheanious, manager of Denver's Department of Human Services, confirmed the 24 percent cut but said it was part of a departmentwide action.

"The department overall will see cuts in the neighborhood of 17 percent between now and 2010," she said. "Some programs will be cut as much as 50 percent.

the Denver Post


Anonymous said...

And on the heals of this HEARTBREAKING news is DA Quick who feels he is worth a HUGE pay increase... an increase that is more than most families make in a single year!!

Oh yes.. the Great USA where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the people who talk a great line of BS painting an image that they are for the people when the are running for office are right there with their hands out for all the can get once they get elected into office!! ABSOLUTELY SICKENING!!!!

Marcia said...

I absolutely agree with the first comment. What is abhorent is the fact that those who make huge sums of money in this double standard system don't give the slightest damn.

Anonymous said...

In economic times like our curent recession i think its time for all people working in government who have a salary above 40,000 dollars take an immediate 10 percent pay cut until the current recession, depression or whatever it is called is over. DJW

Anonymous said...