Is the federal grant money open ended or will the local tax payers pick up the tab after three years?
Officials with Human Services in Denver are considering applying for a $4 million federal grant to house immigrant children who come to the U.S. alone.
The department is in the process of applying for a three-year federal grant to pay for housing the children.
“The children trying to come to this country without their parents are victims of a humanitarian crisis,” said Mayor Michael Hancock Friday. “In Denver, we care about kids. The work of departments like DHS is how we answer the call to serve.
“In this case, the federal government is trying to place refugee children with family members. And while we have not yet been asked, we recognize that we are likely to have relatives in our community who will want to take in their young family members.
“Denver is acting in a fiscally responsible manner by considering an application for federal resources to help us provide those connecting services for kids in the case we are called to act.”
Spokeswoman Ana Mostaccero said a feasibility study and is being conducted and Human Services is consulting with other city agencies. No application has been submitted yet.
If approved, the children would be placed in the Family Crisis Center near West 10th Avenue and Federal Boulevard. The facility has bedrooms, classrooms and a dining hall.
The federal government has struggled to find communities willing to house thousands of immigrant children who come alone to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America. It’s estimated that 90,000 children will come to the U.S. by year’s end.
Political leaders in California and Arizona have objected to housing immigrant children.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who first expressed concerns about the cost and other burdens imposed on the state by a possible influx of refugees last weekend, said he supports Hancock and any other municipalities that may decide to accommodate Central American refugees.