Denver's looming cold snap to collide with ongoing migrant crisis
Denver is scrambling to make room in its emergency shelters for migrants sleeping in tents ahead of a looming storm that's expected to slam the city with brutally cold temperatures.
Why it matters: Dozens of migrants arriving from the southern border remain stranded on the street, and most — who have little to no experience with single-digit temperatures — are ill-prepared for the winter weather.
- Meanwhile, hundreds of people experiencing homelessness will be competing for the same strapped resources.
Driving the news: The city has suspended its 14-day shelter limit for individual adult migrants while its cold weather shelters remain open through Jan. 15, Denver Human Services spokesperson Jon Ewing tells Axios Denver.
What they're saying: "The issue that that creates in some ways is if you're not discharging people — and we're already pretty much close to capacity at this point with where we're at in hotels — it makes it very challenging to create space," Ewing says.
- "We're getting by day to day at this point of creating space," he adds.
Of note: To make even more room, city officials are asking migrant families staying in city-sponsored hotel rooms to bunk up together — even if they don't know each other, Axios Denver has learned.
- Advocates tell us the doubling- and even tripling-up of families in a single space is presenting new safety concerns about sleeping next to strangers.
What we're watching: On Thursday morning, local officials are planning to evacuate the city's second-largest migrant encampment near Fox Street and 48th Avenue — where roughly 50 tents are located — and move its residents to congregate shelters in a similar way they did last week.
The big picture: The city's migrant crisis has hit a "breaking point," according to Mayor Mike Johnston, who is now looking to slash city spending to help address the worsening problem, Denverite reports.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that city officials are planning to evacuate a migrant encampment Thursday.
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