DENVER – The City and County of Denver is asking the community for help in dealing with an influx of migrants from Central and South America.
On Saturday, Denver officials announced a location where donations like clothing can be dropped off. They also said 41 additional migrants arrived at local homeless shelters overnight.
In the past two months, Denver leaders said over 300 migrants have arrived in the city.
“Over the past week, what had been sort of a slow, steady stream of folks coming increased significantly,” said Evan Dreyer, Mayor Michael Hancock’s Deputy Chief of Staff.
Denver is working with local faith and nonprofit groups to provide shelter to the migrants and city and county officials also set up an emergency shelter.
According to the latest numbers provided by Denver officials:
- 152 migrants are being housed in the city’s emergency shelter
- 48 migrants have been relocated to a church-run shelter
- 41 additional migrants arrived to shelters overnight
- 73 migrants are preparing to be reunified with family or friends and will transition out of the city-run emergency shelter
- 13 migrants left the city-run emergency shelter on their own
With more migrants expected to arrive, Denver officials are calling on churches, nonprofits, and businesses to help provide more shelter space.
“Moving forward, we anticipate that we will need their assistance in providing shelter and housing for folks,” said Dreyer. “We’re going to need their support, moving forward with long term solutions.”
Centro Humanitario is one of the community agencies stepping up.
Mayra Juarez-Denis, the executive director, said she met with a group of 30 migrants who recently arrived.
She described most of them as men in their 20’s and 30’s from Venezuela.
“They have stories of extreme hardship, economic hardship, and they want a second chance. They are scared to go back to Venezuela,” said Juarez-Denis.
She says Centro Humanitario will create a plan to help migrants integrate into the community, including helping them find work.
“They actually said ‘Senora, we don't want to be a burden. How do we start in Denver? How do we currently start again?’” said Juarez-Denis.
Denver has not provided any estimates of how much it will cost to house the migrants.
A spokesperson for Colorado Governor Jared Polis said the office has been in contact with Denver officials.
"We’ve been in conversations with them and we’re assessing how the state can be supportive of local governments and non-profits who already do the work of housing unsheltered people,” said Conor Cahill, the governor’s press secretary.
Denver officials anticipate more migrants will arrive in the coming weeks, meaning the need will only grow.
“Yes, it is a challenge,” said Juarez-Denis. “But I think we have resources. I think the Denver community is a very generous community.”
Officials announced a location where donations can be dropped off.
The drop off location is at Iglesia Ciudad De Dios, located at 5255 W. Warren Avenue in Denver.
Donated items can be dropped off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The following are the items most urgently needed:
- New men’s underwear
- New women’s underwear
- New women’s sports bras
- Long sleeve shirts (men’s, women’s and unisex)
- Jeans (men’s and women’s with special need for M)
- New Socks (men’s and women’s)
- New sweatshirts and sweatpants (S, M & L, both men’s and women’s)
- Closed toe gym shoes (both men’s, women’s, boys, girls, infants)
- Winter coats and pullovers (men’s, women’s, children, and infants)
Churches, nonprofits, or businesses interested in helping can email the emergency operations center at EOC_Liason@denvergov.org