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Migrant arrivals to Denver increase as more arrive from different countries of origin

Service providers say they are seeing a small but growing number of people from countries like Cuba, Haiti and Angola.

DENVER — Since July, the city has doubled its sheltering efforts due to the number of migrants arriving. 

In July, around 500 people were in city shelters. Now, there are nearly 1,100. 

The city said the increase is in part because Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to bus migrants to Denver. This weekend, 233 migrants arrived between Saturday and Sunday. 

"We are seeing a little bit of increase, specifically a lot of families with children and single men," said Yoli Casas, Executive Director of ViVe Wellness, who has continued helping migrants get into shelters and into more permanent housing. 

When migrants began arriving, all were in shelters. Today, there are several in homeless encampments. In July, there was an encampment of 30 migrants. Since then, those who were staying there have relocated. Earlier this week, housing navigators also relocated a family with two small children from an encampment in Denver where about 10 people were staying. 

"Today, there is a different kind of emergency. At the beginning, there was an emergency in January, February. There were so many people we didn’t know where to put them, how to handle everything. I feel like there is a kind of emergency coming up right now," said Casas, who is concerned the number of people without housing will continue growing. 

More countries are also being represented now. Earlier, most all of the migrants arriving were from Venezuela. Casas said she and her team have seen people arriving from countries like Cuba, Haiti, Angola, Nicaragua and others. 

"It’s mainly still Venezuela, but there is a percentage where you see people from, that are from Haiti or Cuba or Peru. We even had a few families from Angola come," Casas said. 

At first, Casas said, the city wasn't sure they would shelter them like the Venezuelans. 

"We just reached out and we said, 'Wait a minute. There is nowhere where you have said only Venezuela,'" Casas said. 

The city is now sheltering them as they are sheltering Venezuelan migrants. 


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