Village Exchange Center (VEC) began as a concept in early 2016 when the faith community of St. Matthew Lutheran Church considered ways to be responsive to and serve its diversifying neighborhood and the City of Aurora. Aurora, a city of more than 20% immigrants and refugees, is among an increasing number of cities across the U.S. grappling with the challenges of welcoming the growing numbers of immigrant and refugee communities. VEC emerged as a way to address and alleviate these challenges. St. Matthew’s faith community unanimously chose to donate the building and grounds located at 1609 Havana Street in March 2017 for use by VEC. In the first two years of operations, VEC has become an anchor in the community for support and empowerment. We continue to activate the building and develop connections with and between the surrounding communities, the majority of whom are foreign-born.
Village Exchange Center is a non-profit organization formed to serve immigrants and refugees in the Aurora/Denver metro area. As community center and multi-faith worship space it seeks to celebrate cultural and religious diversity by creating an inclusive environment where residents from all background interact, share and develop together. Through organic and collocated programs, informational services and cultural activities, the center will be a “one stop shop”supporting integration, engagement and empowerment of newly arrived residents.