Listen: A run-down motel became an accidental sanctuary for hundreds of migrants. In them, its owner found renewed purpose and meaning

· Dec. 29, 2023, 10:22 am
Yong Cha Prince makes breakfast for guests at her Western Motor Inn, on Vasquez Boulevard, as some of the newly arrived migrants who she's been sheltering here hang outside of their rooms. Dec. 5, 2023.Yong Cha Prince makes breakfast for guests at her Western Motor Inn, on Vasquez Boulevard, as some of the newly arrived migrants who she's been sheltering here hang outside of their rooms. Dec. 5, 2023.
Yong Cha Prince makes breakfast for guests at her Western Motor Inn, on Vasquez Boulevard, as some of the newly arrived migrants who she's been sheltering here hang outside of their rooms. Dec. 5, 2023.

Yong Cha Prince had given up on her life in Denver.

Her husband of four decades had died. So had her 33-year-old son, after years living with cancer. The motel they’d run together was falling apart, she was painfully lonely and she felt like it was time to leave for good.

The 73-year-old was preparing to shutter the Western Motor Inn, just off Vasquez Boulevard’s intersection with I-70, in early October. She’d go to South Korea, where she grew up and where she planned to spend her days as a missionary.

But on the eve of the closure, a woman appeared in the cold with a half dozen Venezuelan boys with nowhere else to go. Prince invited them inside, free of charge. But there were so many more men, women and children who, like them and thousands of other migrants who arrived in Denver this year, were struggling to stay warm. Just a few days after Prince opened her doors, her old motel filled completely.

The closure, for now, was off.

Continue reading the full story at Denverite.

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