May 22, 2024

Aurora nonprofit pushes for FEMA funds for migrant influx

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — There’s an urgent request from state and nonprofit leaders as resources to support the influx of migrants to the Denver area continue to diminish.

As of Jan. 8, the city of Denver said it has helped more than 37,000 migrants at a cost of more than $38 million, but the impact is now reaching beyond city limits. 

Amanda Blaurock, executive director and cofounder of the Village Exchange Center, a nonprofit in Aurora dedicated to helping immigrants and refugees, said they’ve seen tons of migrant families move farther east from the city. 

“In about July and August, we just saw numbers we were shocked by of just hundreds of people lined up from morning to evening for either the food pantry or for our wrap-around services and vaccine clinics,” Blaurock said. “There’s a whole migrant response network here of nonprofits who are at the front lines and serving this community of asylum seekers. However, they don’t have funding to do so.” 

Blaurock, along with several local and state leaders, are now calling on the federal government, asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to increase funding allocated to their Shelter and Services Program while expanding the eligibility criteria to include other cities and nonprofits not included in the funds for 2023 

“There are human beings here that need food and shelter and basic needs, and if we’re going to be here doing it, we’re just seeking the support that we need to do so,” Blaurock said.

In the future, Blaurock said she hopes they can push for a more permanent infrastructure for community-based organizations to manage and respond.  

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