ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Tensions are rising between the City of Denver and Adams County following the continued influx of migrants, particularly from Venezuela.
The City of Denver is housing some migrants in a hotel located on the Adams County line. County officials said they learned about the housing after the fact.
The Adams County Health Department issued a public health order demanding the City of Denver disclose the personal information of the migrants staying at the hotel, including their date of arrival, personal health records and when they plan to leave Adams County.
“To protect the health and safety of Adams County residents and migrants sheltering within Adams County, Adams County Health Department is working closely with their Board of Health (BOH) to define and set expectations for implementing best practices and standards for sheltering of migrant persons,” said Kelly Weidenbach, executive director of the Adams County Health Department, in a statement. “Other objectives are to establish open and transparent communication with Adams County representatives, entities operating migrant shelters, and other relevant stakeholders, to provide appropriate safety oversight of sheltering locations, and to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.”
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“We know that we have reached out to other counties, and no one has stepped up,” said Yoli Casas, executive director of ViVe Wellness, an immigrant rights nonprofit in Denver.
Casas said the hotel owner, in this case, was happy to help.
“We’re running out of space. An entity showed up and said, ‘Hey, we will help you.’ And it happens to be in another county,” Casas said. “The business is working with us, with everybody — wonderful. And all of the sudden, the county comes and says, ‘Hey, hey, hey. Wait a minute.’ Well, then is it — do you not want us there?”
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The City of Denver said a meeting is scheduled for Thursday with Adams County to discuss the ongoing viability of the hotel for migrant housing. Advocates are hoping both sides can come to an agreement.
“We’re hopeful that a partnership will emerge and that partnering and resettlement will become a priority for everyone,” said Jordan Garcia with American Friends Service Committee.
“Let’s meet at the table and say, ‘What do you need? What can we do? How can you help us?’” Casas said.
As of noon Wednesday, the City of Denver has served 23,740 since December 2022. According to the city, 120 migrants arrived Wednesday afternoon, and 232 arrived Tuesday. The city has spent more than $26 million assisting arriving migrants.
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
Those items can be dropped off at the Richard T. Castro Human Services Center, 1200 N. Federal Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The city is asking that you do not just drive there and drop off donations at the main entrance. Instead, you’re asked to call to schedule your donations drop-off at (303) 514-0643.
If you want to donate money, you can donate to the Newcomers Fund.
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