DENVER – The number of Central and South American migrants staying in Denver has reached record levels, with those numbers expected to continue growing over the next several weeks after lawmakers in Washington failed to reach a compromise before the holiday break to address the record number of arrivals from the southern border.
As of Friday morning, 3,822 migrants were staying in city shelters – a 22% increase from the 3,135 migrants who were staying in city shelters on Oct. 13. Those numbers are expected to continue growing as hundreds more keep arriving each week as they flee widespread violence and economic instability in their home countries.
On Thursday alone, 9 buses from the southern border brought an additional 341 migrants to the city’s Reception Center. In all, city officials said they expected Denver to receive about 100 buses just in December alone.
The record-breaking pace at which migrants are arriving in Denver led Mayor Mike Johnston earlier this month to request the help of bilingual-speaking Denverites to work for the city to help with staffing shortages at these shelters.
"We were actually able to hire more than 200 people. They’re coming in strong and we’re very thankful," said Jon Ewing with the city’s Department of Human Services. "Even still, with the holidays and the sheer number of people coming in every day, staffing remains an issue. What we need is for that community support to continue into the new year because it is not slowing down."
Denver has received $3.5 million from the state of Colorado to help with the influx of migrants and the federal government has approved another $9 million in federal assistance to help with the response, according to city officials. An additional $1.6 million has been advanced by the Department of Homeland Security to help Denver, official said.
The latest figures from the city show Denver has supported 33,325 migrants from the southern border at a cost of more than $35 million.
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Here's how you can help refugees and immigrants coming to Denver
If you’d like to help as the city responds to this migrant crisis, you can do so with donations — either material or monetary. If opting for the former, the city is asking for the following items:
- Socks (new/unopened only)
- Bras - small/medium/large
- Women’s clothing - small/medium/large
- Men’s clothing - small/medium
- Winter hats - gender neutral and kids/one size fits all
- Winter gloves - men's, women's and kids/small and medium sizes
- Scarves - various sizes
- Closed toed or winter shoes for children
- Closed toed or winter shoes for women sizes 4, 5, 6 and 7
Those items can be dropped off at the following locations:
1755 S. Zuni St. Denver, CO 80223
Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Para Ti Mujer
150 Sheridan Blvd. Suite 200 Lakewood, CO 8O226
Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Colorado Changemakers Collective
12075 E. 45th Ave. Denver, CO 80239
Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Before heading out the door though, please call ahead to ask about any specific instructions for drop-off.
If you want to donate your time, you can donate money to the Newcomers Fund.