The City of Montreal has opened a new temporary shelter for asylum seekers in a building that once housed a convent.
“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.
Coderre also says the city will continue its efforts to find other temporary housing solutions.
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.
“Our country is helping people from a place that’s very hard,” said Carlos Escobar, a maintenance worker in the building.
“I’m really up for it. I hope they get a better future here in Quebec.”
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.