Montreal opens another temporary shelter for asylum seekers

Click to play video: 'Shelter for asylum seekers in Montreal' Shelter for asylum seekers in Montreal
WATCH: New shelters are opening in Montreal to house asylum seekers, who have been crossing the Canada-U.S. border by the hundreds. Global's Dan Spector finds out where their new homes will be – Aug 7, 2017

The City of Montreal has opened a new temporary shelter for asylum seekers in a building that once housed a convent.

READ MORE: Montreal non-profits gearing up to help Haitian asylum seekers

“We buy beds, we put mattresses, we put the linen on, we make sure they’re being fed three times a day,” said Francine Dupuis, with the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

“Our people are very, very busy dealing with families that are in distress; they’re playing with their lives now.”

Mayor Denis Coderre says the shelter, which opened Sunday evening and can accommodate about 300 people, is well-organized and suitably equipped.

READ MORE: Quebec housing asylum seekers in Olympic Stadium, dealing with 150 requests a day

Coderre also says the city will continue its efforts to find other temporary housing solutions.

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WATCH BELOW: Asylum seekers in Montreal

He pointed out that between 250 and 300 people are arriving daily at the Canadian border, up from 50 a day in the first half of July.

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

Hundreds of them, many from Haiti, are already being housed at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

“Our country is helping people from a place that’s very hard,” said Carlos Escobar, a maintenance worker in the building.

READ MORE: Canada equipped to handle spike in Quebec asylum seekers: Trudeau

In the United States, the Trump administration is considering ending a program that granted Haitians so-called “temporary protected status” following the massive earthquake that struck their homeland in 2010.

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