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Denver to limit migrants' stays in emergency shelters to 14 days

Denver will limit migrants’ stays in emergency shelters to no more than 14 days. The city said the policy is being communicated to migrants as they arrive.

DENVER — About a month after the city opened emergency shelters for migrants, Denver announced plans to transition its recreation centers back to their intended use.

"The number of people staying in Denver's emergency shelters has leveled off as a result of a decrease in daily arrivals and an increase in those departing our facilities," the city wrote in a press release on Monday.

"While this situation remains fluid and can change with little notice, we are using this lull in new arrivals to advance plans for transitioning the recreation center shelters back to their original use."

The city has not yet announced a hard timeline for that process but said it will happen in the coming weeks.

Also Monday, Denver said it will begin limiting migrants’ stays in emergency shelters to no more than 14 days. This will be effective immediately.

Denver said the city began informing migrants of this plan at the end of December.

"This is being communicated as folks disembark buses upon arriving in Denver, at the reception center and again at each of the shelters. Living in an emergency shelter should be a very temporary way for folks who’ve made a long journey to get here to stay warm in winter, get connected to resources, and develop a plan to either remain here long-term or travel to their next U.S. destination," a statement said.

Two weeks is an appropriate amount of time for migrants to connect with external resources, the city said, adding this is a time for non-profits and faith-based organizations to provide aid.

The city did not share a plan.  

As of Monday, the city reported assisting 4,017 migrants since Dec. 9, with 560 currently housed in city emergency shelters and 582 in partner shelters. 

A new donation site is now available to help migrants staying in Denver, located at 1011 S. Federal Blvd. People can drop off items on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m.

Donations can also be left at Temple Emanuel, at 51 Grape St., on Mondays from 5 to 8 p.m.

A list of needed items is available on the city website.

This weekend, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said the state would stop busing migrants to Chicago and New York City, after the mayors of both cities said their shelters were already at capacity.

Polis said the state was helping coordinate trips for migrants to travel due to bad weather, but he now says the migrants should be able to travel without the state's help.

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