Newcomer and Migrant Support
This page offers updates about the City and County of Denver’s response to the influx of Newcomers from the southern border. Scroll down this page and use the navigation buttons to learn more about ways to get involved, find resources, read updates for media, and connect with community partners.
Work Authorization Clinics (Posted Feb. 16, 2024)
The City and County of Denver organized federal work authorization clinics this week for nearly 400 migrant newcomers. Through these clinics, local non-profits, volunteers, and city staff assisted newcomers in filing the necessary paperwork to receive federal work permits. Pre-screenings to determine eligibility were held in city-run shelters ahead of two large-scale clinics at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building on Thursday and Friday.
Denver is currently sheltering more than 3,000 people and is working diligently to connect individuals with housing, work authorization, job opportunities, and onward travel. While this week’s clinics will help hundreds of people toward self-sustainability, a great number of individuals arriving in Denver remain ineligible for work permits and as a result do not have reliable means of supporting themselves. Denver continues to call on the federal government to address this inequity by expanding access to work authorization and providing additional funding to cities managing the migrant response.
The city is grateful to the many partners who made these clinics possible, including the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Denver Agency for Human Rights & Community Partnerships (HRCP), City Attorney’s Office (CAO), Denver Human Services (DHS), Lutheran Family Services, Catholic Charities, Colorado Lawyers Committee, Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Center (JAMLAC), as well as volunteers from within the city and community.
Cold Weather Shelter Activation (Posted Feb. 9, 2024)
With forecasted cold weather and possible snow arriving this weekend, Mayor Mike Johnston, in collaboration with City Council, is activating a pilot to provide around-the-clock, 24/7 cold weather shelter from 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 through 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16 at the Denver Coliseum, 4600 N Humboldt St.
People experiencing homelessness should walk up to the location directly. Denver will not discharge individuals from migrant shelters while the activation is in effect, though people may choose to leave if they have found other accommodations.
Individuals in need of shelter can also be referred to the city’s “front door” shelter access points, listed on the City and County of Denver's Find Shelter page and in the list below. These access points are also expanding their capacity for the cold weather. Front door shelters include:
- For individual men – Lawrence Street Community Center, 2222 Lawrence St.
- For individual women – Samaritan House, 2301 Lawrence St.
- For youth ages 15-20 – Urban Peak, 2100 Stout St.
- Families in need of shelter should call the Connection Center at 303-295-3366.
Donations (Updated Feb. 2, 2024)
Anyone wishing to drop off donations may do so at the Richard T. Castro Human Services Center at 1200 N. Federal Boulevard. Donations are accepted only at the garage doors on the north side of the building from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday.
Appointments are encouraged. To schedule your drop off, call (303)514-0643. Visit the Get Involved section of this page for directions and additional wayfinding information.
While all donations are appreciated, the city is especially in need of:
- Men’s clothing (especially pants)
- Children’s clothing
- Shoes (all sizes)
- Winter gear (coats, gloves, sweaters)
- Underwear (new only)
We ask that you not bring household items, toys, or any clothing sized larger than XL.
Those who wish to help should also consider giving to the Newcomers Fund. Donations go directly to the city’s nonprofit partners who are supporting migrants with resource navigation, work authorization, shelter and other services. You can also help by volunteering to support the response.
Length of Stay Policy (Updated Jan. 17, 2024)
Jan. 17, 2024 - The City and County of Denver will resume discharging migrant families with children from city-run facilities while also extending its previous length-of-stay policy for families. The changes will begin in February and will be rolled out over a period of several weeks.
The city will provide all newly arriving families with children with up to six weeks (42 days) in shelter, up from the previous limit of 37 days. This timeframe is in line with best practices as it relates to attaining housing. Length-of-stay for individuals without children will remain two weeks (14 days). This policy takes effect on Feb 5.
The city will also begin discharging migrant guests again under the following policy:
- Those who do not qualify for the shelter program but have been admitted since family discharges were paused in November will be discharged on Feb. 5. Individuals must be in the U.S. for fewer than 30 days before coming to Denver and have an Alien Registration Number to qualify for Denver’s shelter program.
- Those who had previously timed out of the shelter program but were readmitted during the pause will be discharged on either Feb. 5 or Feb. 6.
- Families with children who entered shelter on Oct. 12, 2023 or later will begin discharges on Feb. 7. Discharges will be based on arrival date and occur in rolling fashion, with every family receiving a written notification of their discharge date. All families with children will have received at least 42 days in shelter, with some families having been provided as long as four months.
We encourage all newcomers to Denver to begin forming a long-term plan once they enter shelter. While Denver remains a welcoming city, resources are limited and we cannot provide shelter for indefinite periods of time. Denver will continue to connect newcomers with nonprofits and other available resources during their stay.
Zuni St. Encampment Closure
The City of Denver took action in early January 2024 to provide significant aid and support to migrants experiencing homelessness. The migrants, who were living at a large encampment in the area of Zuni and 26th, were experiencing unsafe conditions and were in need of better solutions for long-term success. As a result, Denver is taking the following steps at this encampment:
- Assisting individuals in applying for housing while covering first month’s rent, deposit, and security fees for those who are already working. Denver can provide up to three month’s rent for those still seeking employment. As of January 2, around 100 people had already secured housing through this strategy.
- Opening two congregate shelter sites as well as creating space for families at a third location. Congregate shelters include space for limited storage, shower trailers, and additional sanitation services. Crucially, these sites also allow to better engage with individuals as they work to obtain housing and employment.
- Providing onward travel – largely in the form of bus tickets – to individuals who no longer wish to stay in Denver.
Much of the funding that made this effort possible was provided by City Council and strategies like these, while effective, are not feasible for the full population currently being served by the city. Denver continues to call on the federal government for significantly more funding, coordination and access to work authorization.
48th and Fox Encampment
Jan. 11, 2024 – The City of Denver provided shelter to migrants living in an encampment near 48th and Fox Thursday, a move made possible by recent success in housing newcomers experiencing homelessness and spurred by dangerously cold temperatures. Individuals will be offered 30 days in congregate shelter and connected with resources.
Individuals were able to take two large bags of items with them, with other belongings being stored offsite. Advocates are assisting in gathering and storing salvageable items ahead of the encampment being resolved on Jan. 18.
File a Complaint About Migrant Services
Use this form to file a complaint about migrant services. Your response will be sent to the Denver Human Services (DHS) Complaint Resolution Liaison and will be kept confidential to the extent possible to resolve the complaint.
Utilice este formulario para presentar una queja sobre los servicios para migrantes. Su respuesta se enviará al enlace de resolución de quejas del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Denver (DHS) y se mantendrá confidencial en la medida de lo posible para resolver la queja.
File a Complaint About Migrant Services | Presente una queja sobre los servicios para migrantes
It is your right to access oral or written language assistance, sign language interpretation, real-time captioning via CART, or disability-related accommodations. To request any of these services at no cost to you, please email DHSADASupport@denvergov.org with three business days’ notice.