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Denver changes strategy for newcomers to help them realize stable, sustainable lives

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston updates plan for arriving migrants
Denver Mayor Mike Johnston updates plan for arriving migrants 01:43

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced changes on Wednesday to the city's strategy when it comes to migrants who have made their way to the Mile High City. The strategy surrounding assistance will focus on helping those newcomers find stable, sustainable lives instead of living in shelters. 

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston  CBS

The City of Denver will be closing four of the migrant shelters over the next month. One will be closed each week over the next four weeks. 

Part of the reason is to help reduce the overall cost of the migrant program. Closing those four shelters will save the city up to $60 million. Recently, Denver had to cut services to the DMV and Parks & Rec departments to account for the $180 million additional cost that wasn't allocated in the budget. 

Johnston also announced the city has reinstated its length-of-stay policy for the migrants. Earlier this month, the City of Denver reactivated a policy to discharge families from shelters after reaching the 42-day limit. Johnston said that about 2,500 people have been successfully moved from a shelter over the past six weeks. 

Now, the City of Denver is focusing on getting more migrants work authorization. So far, at least 600 have been helped and the goal is to help at least 700 more in the next two weeks. 

"This allows us to deliver people high-quality dignified services and also reduce the cost we spend to make sure that they are successful and the city is successful. And we think that is the path forward Denver should be proud of," said Johnston. 

Johnston said the reason the shelters will be closing is because the number of migrants arriving has slowed. They will not be displaced and instead move to other shelters until the length of stay ends. 

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