UPDATE May 9, 2023: In early May, Denver started experiencing an influx of migrant arrivals that exceeds the levels the city has seen since early 2023, with approximately 200 people arriving per day (after 30-40 people on average in the previous months). Thank you to the many donors who have contributed to the Newcomers Fund. All donations will be deployed directly to local nonprofit partners who are supporting incoming migrants with resource navigation, housing, and other essential services. Give now.
In partnership with Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and peer funders, Rose Community Foundation is launching the Newcomers Fund to mobilize the community’s philanthropic interest in supporting the incoming migrant population fleeing unrest in South and Central America.
Between November 1 and December 20, 2022, more than 1,400 people arrived in the Greater Denver community from South and Central America and that number is continuing to increase. Since these individuals lack status that provides eligibility for employment authorization while they await the outcome of formal immigration legal proceedings, they are currently unable to work and lack access to mainstream and traditional refugee resettlement benefits afforded to refugees and asylum seekers.
The City of Denver, State of Colorado, local nonprofits and many local residents are responding quickly to welcome them and provide necessary services, and other parts of Colorado are beginning to see migrant families arriving as well. In response to this international humanitarian crisis that has arrived on our local doorstep, there are immediate needs that our community can help address.
“Here in Colorado, we believe that people fleeing oppression and persecution should be able to safely and humanely find their way to freedom, and we are grateful for the work of Rose Community Foundation towards helping those in need. The generosity and resilience of Coloradans shines through as we come together to welcome and support those fleeing oppression, and I hope even more Coloradans choose to step up, join in this work and support the Newcomers Fund,” said Governor Jared Polis.
“The volume of newly arriving migrants and asylum-seekers continues to increase and is placing a growing strain on the City’s resources,” said Mayor Hancock. “I am heartened, however, by the boundless generosity of our community to help meet the needs of the many folks now arriving from South and Central America. I’m grateful for the additional support of Rose Community Foundation and our entire philanthropic community. The Newcomers Fund will make a tremendous difference.”
Contributions to the Newcomers Fund will support nonprofit and government organizations that are providing services such as emergency shelter, basic needs such as food and clothing, medical needs, workforce and employment opportunities, wraparound services like translation and interpretation, transportation to local appointments, volunteer coordination, legal services related to immigration proceedings, integration supports, transportation to reunite with family members in other states, etc.
“From individual donors to local companies, foundations and congregations, to local and state government, Colorado has repeatedly rallied to support immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in our communities, and we trust that longstanding tradition will continue in this current time of humanitarian crisis,” said Rose Community Foundation President and CEO Lindy Eichenbaum Lent. “In order to simplify the process – both for donors who want to give and for nonprofits who need the dollars to provide vital services – we are partnering with local and state officials and peer funders to stand up this Newcomers Fund.”
Colorado’s philanthropic community is rallying together to support this incoming population. Key partners to date include the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, Mile High United Way, and The Denver Foundation, which houses the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund, providing funds for legal service needs within the city of Denver.
Currently the needs are most concentrated in Denver, but migrants are beginning to arrive in other parts of the state as well. The Newcomers Fund at Rose Community Foundation will continue to adapt to the needs of the state’s communities and engage local partners in the process, as funding becomes available.
If you are a donor-advised fundholder at Rose Community Foundation who needs assistance with your giving: please contact our Philanthropic Services team.
If you are interested in supporting migrants in other ways: visit the Denver Office of Emergency Management resources page.
If you are an individual in need of services: contact 211 or visit the 211 Colorado page.
If you are a nonprofit interested in applying for funding from the Newcomers Fund: complete the form on this page.
Photo courtesy of Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite