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Denver to demobilize Emergency Operations Center for migrant influx, more than 5K people helped

Posted at 12:55 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 14:55:38-05

DENVER — The City and County of Denver will demobilize its Emergency Operations Center on Friday and transition migrant support to Denver Human Services, the city announced on Thursday afternoon.

The Emergency Operations Center has been open to support migrants as they arrived in an influx starting on Dec. 6.

Denver declared a state of emergency on Dec. 15. In a press conference that day, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the number of migrants entering the city had spiked without notice.

READ MORE: Migrant family details journey to arrive in Denver

“This influx of migrants, the anticipated nature of their arrival, and our current space and staffing challenges have put an immense strain on city resources to the level where they’re on the verge of reaching a breaking point,” Hancock said.

Most of the people arriving were coming from Central America and South America and were asylum-seekers and refugees.

READ MORE: 'We have nothing': A Venezuelan immigrant explains why so many are fleeing their country

Since December, the city said it has helped more than 5,200 migrants and spent nearly $8 million. It continues to provide shelter, meals and services to more than 1,000 people currently staying at city and organization sites.

With the help of nonprofits, faith groups and charitable organizations, the city can transition from an emergency response to standard operations, the city said on Thursday. It will continue to shelter and support new migrants as they arrive.

Denver Human Services will share details on the efforts, daily migrant totals, volunteer opportunities and more on its website and on social media.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | March 2, 11am

For those wanting to lend a helping hand, a new donation site has been set up at Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, located within the First Baptist Church of Denver at 1373 N. Grant St. The city has asked donors to only bring items on the donation request list, which is available here. Donations are accepted Thursday and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. Call 970-363-4777 with questions about donations.

Migrants who have arrived in Denver and want to stay in the city can find information and resources here and the Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs website.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in early January that as of then, about 70% of the migrants were planning on moving to other places.

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