With spike in asylum seekers, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to be used as shelter

Click to play video: 'Olympic Stadium opens doors to asylum seekers'
Olympic Stadium opens doors to asylum seekers
WATCH ABOVE: Montreal’s Olympic Stadium is housing asylum seekers after the number of people crossing at the U.S. border spiked in recent months. As Global's Sarah Volstad reports, Quebec’s government is explaining why it made this decision – Aug 3, 2017

Montreal’s Olympic Stadium will be housing asylum seekers after a spike in the number of people crossing at the United States border in recent months.

The stadium is being transformed into a refugee housing centre to deal with the influx.

READ MORE: ‘Illegal entry is illegal entry’: Quebec premier responds to U.S. asylum seekers

According to recent federal government data, including preliminary figures for June, there was a “pronounced shift” in the number of people crossing at the Quebec-U.S. border.

WATCH BELOW: Asylum seekers are heading to Montreal

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“I’m Haitian and that [this situation] has touched me a little bit. That’s why I came here to see how I can help,” said Guillaume André, Centre Communautaire Multi-Ethnique de Montréal Nord director.

Francine Dupuis, who oversees a government-funded program to help seekers get on their feet, tells Radio-Canada the numbers are unprecedented.

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READ MORE: Quebec and Prairies see biggest spike in asylum seekers in February

Volunteers from the Quebec Red Cross are helping set up the cavernous facility for a temporary stay with 150 cots in the rotunda with a food court, showers and WiFi.

Among the claimants are men, women and children from many different countries including Chad, Eritrea and Haiti, who all entered Quebec through the American border.

The first people are expected to arrive at the stadium Wednesday.

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