Denver scales back migrant services, closing 4 shelters in effort to reduce budget, save millions

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Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced Wednesday that the city will reduce immigration services and consolidate shelters with the goal of saving millions of dollars.

One shelter will close each week over the next month, and the closure is expected to reduce the current budget deficit by nearly $60 million, with the funds reallocated to city services, Johnston said at a news conference. Ta.

But Johnston warned that the closure plans could change if the city experiences a surge in migrants and has to increase shelter space and migrant services again.

Johnston added that no one will be evicted if the shelter closes, they will simply be moved to another shelter. fox 31 report.

City of Denver cuts some city employees’ hours to zero to support immigrants

A migrant lies on a sleeping pad at a temporary shelter in Denver. (Hyun Chang/The Denver Post)

“We now have the infrastructure in place to be able to manage what we need in such cases. [another surge] happens. Our plan is to move away from a system where shelters are closed and remain closed and the majority of hotels remain open for continued housing,” Johnston said.

This latest announcement comes as the City of Johnston has already begun cutting city government budgets to offset the cost of immigration services. On February 9, the Mayor announced reduced hours for recreation centers and phased closures of Denver Automobile Offices as part of $5 million in cuts.

“The City of Denver is trying to avoid the word ‘layoffs’ when it comes to impending budget cuts. Instead, it is telling some hourly on-call employees that their hours may be reduced to zero.” This was reported by local NBC affiliate 9 News. .

The city government is considering cutting $4.3 million in funding from the Parks and Recreation Department and using that money to address the immigration crisis that is straining city resources.

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Venezuelan immigration

Venezuelan migrants wait in line to obtain documents to enter a shelter at a migrant processing center in Denver. (Helen H. Richardson/Media News Group/Denver Post via Getty Images)

“Reduced hours and programs will impact the work hours of many on-call employees, some of whom may not receive many hours,” he told 9News. “Final decisions regarding working hours for individual positions have not yet been made.”

City employees working limited hours are “on-call employees,” including lifeguards, coaches and front desk staff, the department said.

“The number of on-call hours will vary based on individual differences and seasonality,” the statement continued. “Some on-calls can support multiple duties, while others teach only one class throughout the year.”

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Denver Mayor Mike Johnston

Mayor Mike Johnston recently announced significant cuts to Denver’s city government budget to better deal with the immigration crisis. (RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post, Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Johnston predicted the immigration crisis would cost the city about $180 million. He previously told Fox News Digital that the situation is not sustainable and called on lawmakers in Washington to work together to find a solution.

To date, the city has assisted 38,861 migrants from the southern border at a cost of nearly $58 million, Fox 31 reported.


The city also acknowledged that funding is coming from the federal and state governments, but it’s still not enough.

Johnston’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Gabriel Hays and Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.