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'We knew we could do something': Denver families 'adopting' migrants in need amid growing crisis

As city resources continue to get stretched thin with the growing migrant crisis, people in Denver are taking it upon themselves to offer help to those in need.
Migrant Family Help
Posted at 8:34 PM, Dec 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-05 22:46:54-05

DENVER — Leaving their home country of Venezuela and everything behind to come to Colorado was not a decision Eliana Rodriguez and her family took lightly. But generous people in Denver are now taking it upon themselves to help families like hers in any way they can.

“Honestly, my husband didn’t want to come," Rodriguez told Denver7, speaking in Spanish through the interview. "He said he was scared, because of our daughter, being away from our family."

But it was something Rodriguez, her husband and 2-year-old daughter were willing to risk in order to have the chance at a better future.

“I would tell him, 'Look at the situation. What are we going to offer to our kids, to our daughter?'" Rodriguez said.

The journey to get to the United States from Venezuela was a dangerous one that took more than a month, she said.

“It was very hard. When we got out of the jungle, we had run out of food," Rodriguez said.

It's the same situation that has causing thousands of families to flee South and Central America and seek help in Denver.

The latest data from the City of Denver shows 103 people arrived from south of the border on Tuesday — a slight decrease from the 101 who arrived a day prior. Denver has welcomed more than 29,000 migrants since the beginning of the year.

The arrivals in the City of Denver are putting a significant strain on city resources, but the general public is working to help in their own way.

Denver7 has found local Facebook groups, such as, Highlands Moms & Neighbors - Venezuelan Migrant Support and Central Park & Park Hill - Venezuelan Migrant Support that are growing each day.

Rodriguez and her family were able to find temporary housing thanks to one of those pages.

"There's so many different needs in this crisis," said Candance Chapman, who offered the Rodriguez family her extra apartment.

Chapman said when she went to Facebook to ask the community for a little help to furnish the apartment for the family, she received an overwhelming amount of support.

"Within that 24 hours, we had everything that we needed for them and half of them offered to drop it off to us because they were just like, 'That's incredible that you can do that, I'll make it as easy as possible bring it to you.' We got a vacuum, the toddler bed, and several other things," she said.

She has three children of her own.

"So, seeing each of these stories, knowing that these people are just trying to do the best they can and make a better future for themselves," said Chapman.

Chapman said it's been heartwarming to see how the community has taken it upon themselves to help, seeing neighbors come together.

"Just average people who have normal jobs and normal families. And they're not superhuman, but they can do a little bit," she said.

With so many more families in need across the city, she said even a little can go a long way.

"This is such a crisis that there's so many different ways, that if you've got an hour, or if you've got 20 hours — there's something that can be done, it doesn't have to be complicated," she said.

Rodriguez and her husband said they are currently looking for jobs while they figure out what will come next.

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