Sanctuary city mayor closes migrant shelters, says money will go to residents

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced the city’s decision to scale back migrant services by consolidating shelters to save millions of dollars.

The plan involves closing one shelter per week over the next month to reduce the budget deficit by nearly $60 million.

Johnston emphasized that no one will be kicked out, but rather moved to other shelters.

The city is making budget cuts in various departments, including reducing hours at recreation centers and Motor Vehicle offices to offset costs related to the migrant crisis.

Johnston had warned earlier that the crisis could cost the city around $180 million, with nearly $58 million already spent on supporting migrants.

“We’re putting in place now the infrastructure to be able to manage what we would need if that [another surge] happens. Our plan is to try to close the shelters and keep them closed and move away from a system that has remained largely significant numbers of open hotels for ongoing housing,” Johnston said.

“The City of Denver is trying to avoid the word ‘layoffs’ when it comes to impending budget cuts. So instead, they’re telling some hourly on-call employees they may have their hours reduced to zero,” local NBC affiliate 9News reported.

“The reduction in hours of operation and programs will affect the number of hours worked by many on-call, some to the point where they may not receive any hours,” he told 9News. “The final decisions on hours for any individual position have not been made yet.”

“The number of hours an on-call works can vary from individual to individual and by the season,” a statement said. “Some on-calls can support multiple functions, some may only teach one class all year long.”

Federal and state funding has been insufficient, prompting the city to take these cost-saving measures.