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HUD’s Ben Carson drops in on Colorado’s homeless coalition

Author: Dan Njegomir - October 25, 2017 - Updated: October 25, 2017

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U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, center, flanked on the right by Colorado Coalition for the Homeless President and CEO John Parvensky, and on the left by coalition Medical Director Joe Ladika. (Photo courtesy Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.)

We took note the other day of U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson’s two-day stopover in Denver this week to address a meeting of mortgage bankers and, per the protocols of his job, to tour publicly assisted housing in the area. Included was a visit to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, starting with its Stout Street Clinic.

U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson on tour at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. (Photo courtesy Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.)

Turns out, we didn’t have to cover the occasion; coalition staff recounted their face time with the housing secretary — a former presidential candidate, renowned neurosurgeon and bestselling author — in a press release that included photos. It’s as if ColoradoPolitics.com had its own correspondent on the scene and, OK, the pictures came out even better than some of ours do (ouch):

He was greeted by the Coalition’s President and CEO John Parvensky and Medical Director Joe Ladika who gave the Secretary an inside look at integrated housing and healthcare. Secretary Carson called the health center “state-of-the-art” noting updated equipment and CCH’s model of care.

His tour included visits to the medical, dental, vision, pharmacy and mental health services departments, all housed under one roof. He was pleased with the health center, saying it was a “simple gift often taken for granted.” As a doctor himself, he asked important questions about tuberculosis testing (which the health center offers daily), and costs of health services versus access to emergency services.

Last stop was to the Renaissance Stout Street Lofts, 78 units of permanent supportive housing which sit above the Stout Street Health Center and are partially funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. An integrated part of the construction, the Lofts offer housing for people experiencing homelessness with close access to the health center. Secretary Carson was pleased with the integration of health services and housing saying, “This bolsters my argument that we can eradicate homelessness. We have the will and know how.”

Great follow-up coverage by the coalition staff; thanks, folks! You’re hired.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.