John Parvensky, who founded the Colorado Coalition for Homeless in 1985, has announced his plan to retire as its director, after 36 years.

“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,” said Joel Neckers, chair of the coalition’s board of directors, in a news release.  “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.”

Under Parvensky’s leadership, the coalition has grown to help more than 22,000 people a year. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has been finding and promoting lasting solutions for homelessness and providing support for those who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness.

“For years we have been advocating for more federal, state, and local funding. Finally, our efforts are paying off as we see increased investment in housing, support services, and proven strategies for homelessness resolution,” said John Parvensky, in a news release. “There’s momentum building, and the next leader of our organization will help us seize this moment — working with our dedicated and expert team to continue to innovate and grow until all of our neighbors have adequate housing and health care.”

According to the coalition, some of the major achievements of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, under the guidance of Parvensky are: building 20 housing developments to provide more the 2,500 high-quality affordable homes; providing 2,000 housing vouchers for people on behalf of the City of Denver, State of Colorado, and U.S Department of Housing; providing over 4,500 people with housing a night with vouchers and their housing developments; establishing the Coalition’s Stout Street Health Center, which provides a safe and welcoming state-of-the-art health care center for more than 15,000 people annually affected by homelessness; and growing the Coalition from six people to 750 with a budget of $100 million to help communities.

Parvensky plans to stay with the coalition until they find a candidate to replace him.