In recent months, the Denver community has welcomed hundreds of migrants and refugees from Latin American nations. Many families arrive in need of immediate support as they begin their transition to living here in Colorado.
In December, with shelters at capacity, the City of Denver activated its emergency operations center, opening an emergency shelter at a city recreation center and connecting families with resources and temporary or permanent housing. Mile High United Way is providing direct services, as well as partnering with government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to assist families.
“For 135 years, Mile High United Way has been here for Coloradans, responding to meet the emerging needs of our community. We are proud to welcome and assist migrant and refugee families during their transition to Denver and to our Colorado communities. By leveraging our 211 Colorado database, which contains over 7,000 resources, and strengthening partnerships with the State of Colorado and within our nonprofit ecosystem, we are working to ensure that incoming families have access to critical resources, like shelter, food, transportation, immigration services, and more,” said Kasey Harlos, Senior Director, 211 and Disaster Response.
Learn more about how Mile High United Way is providing critical support to migrants and refugees:
Connecting Families to Resources Through 211
Mile High United Way’s support starts at our 211 Colorado Help Center, our statewide resource connecting people to critical resources. The 211 database contains more than 7,000 resources and is updated daily.
Since the beginning of 2022, we have received over 450 calls from refugees, migrants, caseworkers, and immigration agencies, and 211 Colorado has provided more than 1,400 immigration- and refugee-related resources.
Our trained and multilingual resource navigators match clients to the closest resources in their area, including basic needs like food and shelter. Navigators then follow up with clients two to three weeks after the initial call to offer more resources if appropriate. At Governor Polis’ request, we have a dedicated coordinator working with Metro Denver churches to serve migrants and refugees as they come to Denver.
Our 211 Immigration Resource Guide provides a list of 145 resources, from adult education classes and legal advice to food pantries and clothing, to assist incoming families.
If you need assistance or are supporting someone in need of immigration services, visit 211Colorado.org to learn more about resources available.
Providing Affordable Housing to Incoming Refugees
Mile High United Way owns and operates a centrally located apartment building in Denver, providing affordable housing to community members with easy access to public transportation and human services resources. In partnership with the African Community Center, some units are available to refugees for a period of three months as they transition to permanent housing.
Investing in Community Programs Serving Migrant and Refugee Families
We strategically invest in partnerships with nonprofit organizations that provide case management for migrants, refugees, and new Americans to support a stronger and healthier Community United.
How You Can Help
Donate Items – The city is only accepting physical item donations during designated times. On the west side of Denver, drop-off is available at 1011 S. Federal Blvd. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m. On the east side, drop-off is available at Temple Emanuel, 51 Grape St., on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Find more information, including a list of needed items, here.
Host or Support a Family – For organizations and community members willing to host, shelter, or provide additional support for migrants and refugees during their transition to Colorado, learn more here.
Support the Newcomers Fund – Rose Community Foundation has launched the Newcomers Fund to support incoming migrant families. All dollars raised will be deployed quickly and strategically to Colorado nonprofits and government entities providing essential services. Give to the Newcomers Fund.
Support 211 Colorado – Donate to support 211 Colorado and help connect families to critical resources like housing, shelter, food, childcare, and more. GIVE NOW