Denver to consolidate migrant shelters, update strategy

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The city hopes to consolidate its shelters in the coming weeks as occupancy declines, according to the mayor’s office.

DENVER — Over the past few months, the city of Denver has been housing thousands of migrants but with that no longer financially feasible Mayor Mike Johnston is set to announce changes to the city’s strategy.

According to an agenda for Wednesday night’s city council meeting, about 39,000 have been housed in Denver shelters since December 2022. The numbers were small at first but there was a dramatic increase in the fall, followed by a slight decrease before the numbers skyrocketed again in January and February of this year.

RELATED: Denver Clerk and Recorder says his office will not comply with budget cuts requested by mayor

Johnston is set to speak at 9:30 a.m. Council President Jamie Torres and Council President Pro Tem Amanda Sandoval will join him. They’re expected to talk more about the consolidation of shelters as occupancy declines. They’ll also discuss efforts to shift to case management and sustainability. 9NEWS is livestreaming the news conference in the video player above and on the free 9NEWS+ app on Roku and Fire TV.


Currently, according to the presentation, numbers are dropping from a recent peak. Right now the city is operating the following shelters.

  • Seven non-congregate hotel shelters
  • One congregate shelter, with one on standby if needed
  • One transitional housing facility

The goal is to close many of those by the first week of April, according to the council agenda.

Around the time of the peak, Denver changed its policy and began discharging some migrants from housing once again. The city had paused the discharge of migrant families on Nov. 17, and had welcomed families who had previously timed out to return to shelters.

RELATED: Denver says it’s not laying off employees, while also admitting some workers may have their hours cut to zero

The mayor has previously said the city is $180 million short on its budget because of the money migrants arriving to Colorado have cost the city.  Every office from the police department to the animal shelter is facing cuts.

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Denver to consolidate migrant shelters, update strategy

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