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Colorado man helps migrant family with food, shelter

Greg Mortimer met a Venezuelan family the night they arrived in Denver and has been helping them out since
Posted at 3:02 PM, Jun 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-05 08:57:01-04

DENVER — A Colorado man who met a migrant family on a rainy night they arrived in Denver helped them with a hotel and has been building a relationship with the Venezuelan family ever since.

It's been three weeks since the end of Title 42, a rule that allowed for the mass expulsion of migrants at the U.S. southern border. Since then, and even before that ended, asylum seekers have been making their way to Denver looking for a permanent home.

Denver7 spoke with the Ferrer family Saturday, a Venezuelan family who has been getting help thanks to the generosity of strangers like Greg Mortimer. The family first met Mortimer the night they arrived in the city.

"I could tell they were exhausted, hungry. The kids were crying. It was a tough situation," Mortimer said.

He said his friend called him after she was approached by the family in a Walmart parking lot.

"It was raining. They were wet and cold, trying to figure out what to do in a strange city they didn’t understand," he said.

Mortimer and his friends stepped up to help, putting the family in a hotel room for a few days and providing them with food. The family had spent several months on a very difficult journey to the United States from Venezuela.

Luis Antonio Ferrer told Denver7 it was extremely difficult and added that his kids and family suffered a lot, traveling through several different countries with little to no food. When they arrived in Denver a few weeks ago, Ferrer said they felt helpless and hungry with no place to stay.

"We were desperate. It was hard, cold, a critical situation," Ferrer said in Spanish.

Colorado man helps migrant family with food, shelter

Ferrer said that meeting Mortimer was a godsend.

"I just felt heartbroken," Mortimer said. "I was thinking about what would it have been like for my family if this country was in such a rough situation that we had to leave everything behind, not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, and try to find our way."

A local nonprofit called Papagayo also helped the family get into an apartment. Mortimer said he's now dedicated to helping his new friends in any way he can.

"I'm trying to round up some friends who can stop by and have dinner with them or other folks taking turns driving them to the church service," he said.

The family said all of the help has been a true blessing.

"To meet these folks from Venezuela — who are stronger than I am, more courageous than I am — I feel like they add a lot to our community, and I am grateful for my new friends," Mortimer said.

He has launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money for the family and is encouraging others to help other migrant families.

"If everybody stepped up in a city the size of Denver, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal helping a few thousand migrants fleeing a desperate situation in their homeland," he said.

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