DENVER — City of Denver officials said Friday they're moving forward with plans to discharge nearly 400 migrants next week who have been in shelters since early January.
But community organizers said it shouldn’t be a situation where people are left with nowhere to go. Many church shelters will continue to offer services to newcomers.
“We’re a smaller church, but we have a great love for this community,” said Pastor Keith Reeser at Denver Friends Church in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood. The church can house about 30 migrants a night.
“It was this great conversation that began Dec. 3. And we called another one a week later and from there – we had a general sense of approval,” Reeser said.
Volunteers serve nightly meals at Denver Friends Church before lights go out at 10 p.m.
In addition to the sleeping area in the gym, the church also has a community closet and has started hosting a service every Sunday in Spanish after its regular church service.
“When you strip away the politics of it, no matter which side of the aisle you’re on, you can slam the door in their face, but we’ve said, ‘You know – what if we open the door to them?’ I know there’s a risk involved, but there’s a risk involved in anything you do,” Reeser said.
At the moment, Reeser said they’re in need of more gently used or new winter clothing, new socks and underwear, and men’s winter boots and work boots.
“We do not want summer clothes,” he said. “We don’t want swimsuits. We don’t want any of that stuff.”
Reeser said it’s been incredible to see the community come together at a time of crisis.
“We’re not divided by race, we’re not divided by color, we’re not divided by religion,” Reeser said. “We’re just serving and loving people.”
Reeser said as long as they have enough volunteers, they will keep the church open as a shelter until the weather gets nicer.
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