In recent months Denver has been the landing spot for thousands of migrants, many who have come from Venezuela. When they began to arrive at the bus stop, friends from American Friends Service Committee and Denver Community Church were quick to help organize resources and people to help meet this emerging need. Shortly after, the City of Denver setup and managed shelters to ensure that migrants had a warm place to be safe, sleep and shower.
Since those early days in December, Denver has received over 4,000 migrants. Volunteers from churches, non-profit agencies and our city have continued working to come alongside our city’s new arrivals in substantive ways. People continue to ask how they can help.
My hope is that this webpage can help direct those who want to support our new arrivals toward places that are doing the work. Some of the most urgent needs are legal help, job placement and housing. As I learn of more opportunities I will share them here. As of now, here is what I know:
There are several organizations who provide legal support for immigrants. Recently they have come together to expand their legal services with the increased demand. Right now they are calling themselves the Denver Migrant Legal Services Group. Their goal is to scale legal services to a growing number of migrants, including asylum applications, work permits and other needed services. Currently Rocky Mountain Immigration Advocacy Network is spearheading the collaborative. Those organizations working together are:
- Colorado Immigrant Justice Fund
- American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Catholic Charities
The Colorado Hosting Asylum Network (CHAN) is doing the work of sponsorship under the leadership of Denise Chang.
Volunteering at Denver Migrant Shelters
This page has the daily updates from the city regarding their efforts to shelter migrants. There is a link on the page called “Volunteer Now”, which takes you to their online volunteer application. This is a great place for those who want to volunteer directly in the City-run shelters.
Post-Shelter Housing Support
Providence Bible Church is working to help our newly arriving Venezuelan neighbors find jobs and housing. They finished their first wave of fully furnishing 4 apartments that will house 18 people.
They are working to assist groups of 4 to 5 Venezuelans in finding jobs and saving for their first month’s rent. The church has been working to negotiate leases with landlords, raising funds for security deposits and furnishing the house with the basics.
Currently they have another group of 18 to 20 people who are ready to move into permanent housing, and are trying to raise $8,000 to help with their deposits. Would you be willing to donate to help these Venezuelans secure safe housing?
- You can donate to this job and housing effort by PBC here
- Use the “relief fund” option on their website
Ongoing Support for Immigrants
Casa de Paz is a long-standing organization that supports immigrants who are both in the Aurora detention center and with post-release needs. Here are two of their programs that you can join in supporting:
- Visitation: Casa de Paz’s Visitation Program is a great place to volunteer. Visits take place on Saturdays and Sundays. Training is on Casa’s website.
- Post-release support: Casa’s Welcome Team does Casa’s post-release support. While the recent wave of Venezuelan migrants has been in the news, the less well-known story is the wave of 2,000 migrants released from the Aurora detention center in 2022. Casa is always in need of more volunteers in that space.
Here’s an article I wrote for Christianity Today this past December, sharing a little of what my friends and I were able to join in on to support our new neighbors.
Artwork by Anna Castellanos