Migrants accept Denver’s accommodation offer and encampments are swept away

DENVER (KDVR) — More and more migrants are leaving Denver’s streets and ending up in city-funded shelters. This comes after the city swept away two encampments in one day.

The city has repeatedly emptied the camps and encouraged migrants to move into shelters, but that hasn’t always worked, which is why the camps keep popping up. But that changed Wednesday when the city offered even more help.

“We were trying to resolve the camp this morning. We found that almost everyone, most of the people there, had dispersed overnight,” said Jon Ewing, with Denver Human Services.

A group of migrants left an encampment under Central Park Boulevard Tuesday evening. Some accepted the offer of refuge away from the city.

“There were still a few families there,” Ewing said. “We offered them shelter and they took it. So we welcomed around 18 people to the shelter this morning, all families.

Denver offers migrants new shelter deal

The remaining migrants moved their encampment below the A line near Peña Boulevard on Denver’s far east side. The city then swept this camp away, but not without adjusting its offer to these people.

“This time we said, for single people, people without children,” Ewing said. “We said about seven days in a shelter. It will be a hotel refuge. Seven days, aggressive case management.

A tent camp for migrants near the tram
Tents belonging to migrants in a camp located under the A line, near Peña Boulevard. (Clint Braadt, KDVR)

Previously, singles were only offered 72 hours in a city-funded shelter.

“Receiving a full week of case management is a huge victory,” said Amy Beck, an immigrant rights advocate.

Beck and other advocates called it a victory. The city has often been at odds with these people, who willingly offer their own advice to migrants.

“I think it can cause problems when multiple factions run an encampment, or something like that,” Ewing said. “We saw this happen and it caused a lot of confusion, and a lot of people felt like they were being torn apart in different ways.”

Once the encampment is emptied and the migrants are taken off the streets, all parties hope they will start earning a living.

“Through intensive case management,” Beck said, “there is a good chance that many of them will be housed and can remain in our community.”