For Immediate Release
September 4, 2018
Vice President, Communications and Public Policy
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Office (303) 312-9638
Chief Administrative Officer
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Las Animas, CO—On August 30, 2018, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), and Bent County were joined by Governor Hickenlooper and community members, to celebrate the 5th year peer-led addiction recovery at the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community. The event was organized to honor the successes and growth of the program over the last five years and to support the program’s future.
Fort Lyon provides transitional housing and support services to people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness from across Colorado with a priority on providing services to veterans experiencing homelessness. Situated on 552 acres in the Lower Arkansas Valley, the Fort Lyon program is a state-wide collaborative led by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Bent County, and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. At Fort Lyon, residents participate in peer-led recovery groups, vocational training programs and a variety of life skill-building activities, as well as pursue educational opportunities at the local community colleges, and employment in the community.
John Parvensky, President/CEO of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless welcomed guests, thanked staff for their service, and addressed the impact this program has had on those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness throughout the state. DOLA Executive Director, Irv Halter, addressed the critical partnerships that have made Fort Lyon possible and the state’s continued commitment to the program’s growth. “Fort Lyon brings a sense of belonging and community to those who have had difficulties in the past. We are giving them a chance at success, and helping them achieve through partnerships and collaboration that spread statewide,” said Irv Halter, Executive Director for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
Special guest Governor John Hickenlooper whose leadership and support were critical in making the Fort Lyon Community a reality addressed residents and the community with nearly 200 people in attendance. “The Fort Lyon Residential Community demonstrates what’s best about Colorado. We’re helping our neighbors with a hand up, not a hand out. We have been able to help residents persevere in ways they one-time never thought possible,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. Three appreciation awards were presented to Former County Commissioner Bill Long, former Lamar Community College President, Jim Rizutto, and outgoing Program Director, Lynn Rider for their long-term commitment to and support for the Fort Lyon Program. A Fort Lyon resident, Ally Pinnow, closed out the event with his story of recovery at Fort Lyon.
“We are so pleased with the successes and growth of residents at the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community over this last five years,” said John Parvensky. “Unique programs like Fort Lyon are imperative to fighting substance use disorders in our communities. With supportive, caring peers and a thoughtful and compassionate staff, we believe Fort Lyon will continue to help people recover from addiction and return to communities of their choice as proud community members.”
About Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
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 people experiencing and at-risk of homelessness homeless 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 more than 30 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 18,000 individuals and families each year. Learn more at www.coloradocoalition.org.
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) works in partnership with local governments and communities statewide to provide funding for projects and disaster recovery relief. The Department provides state and federal funding to private housing developers, housing authorities, and local governments to increase the inventory of affordable housing, and work diligently to help our state’s most vulnerable population to remove them from homelessness. DOLA also provides expertise through robust technical assistance programs to help with community planning, property taxation and tax appeals.
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) is responsible for strengthening Colorado’s local communities and building capacity by providing strategic training, research, technical assistance, and funding to localities. Learn more about DOLA at www.colorado.gov/dola.