Owner of Denver Asian Restaurant Concerned about Impact of Aurora Homeless Shelter on Business

A Single Mother’s Dream Turned Challenging: Jill Chen’s Zume Asian Cuisine Faces Uncertainty Due to Aurora’s Homeless Shelter Project

When Jill Chen first moved to Denver from China and became a U.S. citizen 10 years ago, she started Zume Asian Cuisine near Chambers Road and Interstate 70. As a single mother of three, she felt it was important to support her family, so she decided to start a business. She said, “I said, ā€˜Iā€™m young. I can own the business, I can get some money,ā€™ā€ to provide for her family members.”

Jill’s restaurant has been successful due in part to the neighborhood it is located in. Her customers love coming in for a delicious Chinese meal and the people are very friendly and helpful. “The people are very nice and they help me a lot,” said Jill.

Recently, Jill learned that the City of Aurora had purchased the Crowne Plaza Hotel across the street from her restaurant with plans to build a shelter for the homeless. At first, she thought it was a great idea as it would be beneficial for those in need of housing. However, Jill began to worry about how it might affect her livelihood as well as her business going bad or something else happening.

The City of Aurora stated that they will work with residents and business owners near the site to create good neighbor plans before building the shelter. They will use various methods such as public meetings, calls, social media and traditional media to keep everyone informed about the project progressively. “Some outreach about this project has been ongoing and is in its beginning stages,” said Aurora officials in their statement.” Jill hopes that she doesn’t lose the business she spent over a decade building due to this project but believes that if it happens then there is nothing she can do about it.”

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