DENVER (KDVR)- A city-run warming center is opening its doors to shelter folks who recently migrated to Denver as well as anyone who wants to stay warm in the midst of this extreme cold snap.
The Denver Coliseum is serving as a shelter for the end of this week. Inside the coliseum, the city has everything ready to go for those looking to avoid the dangerous chill that moved in Wednesday evening.
Denver Coliseum shelter to serve 255 people
“For much of the country, the immigration crisis is about to be compounded by another crisis: the arctic cold front that will be arriving in Denver today,” Mayor Michael Hancock said at a press conference Wednesday.
Hancock said Denver is doing its best to shelter migrants who are just arriving in the city and others who need to stay safe from the subzero temperatures.
“It (the coliseum) will be a 24/7 warming center beginning at 3:00. This facility will be available to anyone who needs it, including our neighbors experiencing homelessness, the migrants who have recently arrived in our city, and anyone from the general public who needs a safe place to be warm,” Hancock said.
Each visitor will have access to a hygiene bag with necessities but there will be no showers. Three meals a day will be provided for each guest.
Members of the city’s Joint Information Center said the coliseum has 255 cots laid out for people seeking refuge upstairs in the coliseum. Preparations for the National Western Stock Show are still taking place downstairs.
Denver mayor calls on Congress to act
The mayor said the setup is temporary but the city will need more permanent help, calling on action from Congress and leaning on more funding from the state.
“There will come a time, I hope, where people will understand that we have, just like anything we have, finite resources and we are going to have to make a call based on the resources that we have available,” Hancock said.
Hancock said the city just applied for $1.5 million in aid from the state. Denver City Council recently voted to extend the mayor’s emergency declaration in response to the influx of migrants through Jan. 9.