Denver coffee shop opened to hire refugees is now closing due to lack of applicants

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DENVER -- Many people who spend time at the Colorado state Capitol are familiar with the Spring Cafe.

The coffee shop is located across the street from the General Assembly. It opened four years ago with a simple mission: provide jobs to new refugees.

“It’s a place to give immigrants and refugees their first job,” CEO Paula Schriefer said.

For the last year, however, there has been a problem: the coffee shop meant to give refugees their first job couldn’t find any refugee to apply.

“We have seen our refugee resettlement program drastically cut,” Schriefer said, adding, "We decided we are going to close (the cafe) down."

The issues with the Spring Cafe are indicative of what is happening across the country.

In 2016, around 85,000 refugees entered the U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered that number be capped at 18,000 by 2020.

Katira -- whose last name is not being used to protect her family -- is a refugee. She says what is happening at the Spring Cafe and elsewhere is sad.

“I came from a country that was at war for over 30 years,” Katira said. ”When I hear about the limitation of refugees and immigrants coming here to United States, I feel so sad."

She said the cafe provided a community for those trying to build a new life in the U.S.

“The Spring Cafe was a wonderful place for refugees and immigrants,” Katira added.

A goodbye reception for the cafe will occur on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m.

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