DENVER (KDVR) –- The number of tents outside a migrant shelter near Zuni and Speer has grown dramatically.
Recently, the encampment was swept from a public park across from the hotel temporarily housing migrants. Some people who were in that encampment set up tents along W. 27th Avenue nearby.
FOX31 was told the encampment could surround the Quality Inn and stretch into the nearby neighborhood. The number of tents in that area has been growing every day, according to migrant advocates.
Among those staying in the tents are some families with small children.
Homeless advocate Amy Beck says on Tuesday night she counted 18 families with 32 children.
FOX31 saw many children in some of these tents on Wednesday, as well as Denver City Council Member Amanda Sandoval going from tent to tent.
Sandoval said she and a group of city workers are trying to count the number of people staying at the encampment. However, they are not collecting names or personal information.
Sandoval, who represents the district where the encampment is located, told FOX31 the city wants to have the information in case of an emergency, like severe weather.
The information, she said, would help the city know how many spaces are needed in emergency shelters. FOX31 asked if the migrants might be forced to leave the area.
“I’ve not heard that. And I’ve been in constant communication with the mayor so that’s not something I’ve heard. Where would they go?” Sandoval said.
We saw Sandoval speaking with people in tents Wednesday afternoon, and she said she’s trying to help the migrants as much as possible.
“They are newcomers to our community. I have a group of moms who have been helping support the encampment, providing food and donations,” Sandoval said.
At the encampment, FOX31 saw many families trying to figure out what they would do next.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Sandoval said as she shook her head and fought back tears.
FOX31 contacted Mayor Mike Johnston’s office about the growing encampment.
“We’re working closely with our partners on immediate solutions for the individuals who are camping there. We are also grateful for the support being provided by the community as we work to identify long-term, permanent resources,” said a spokesperson for the Denver Department of Human Services.
The spokesperson also said Denver is currently providing temporary, emergency shelter to nearly 2,000 individuals and has supported more than 27,000 people arriving from the southern border since late 2022.
The city continues to ask for federal government assistance in handling the migrant crisis in Denver.