Salvation Army seeks winter jacket donations for refugees not ready for Quebec winter

Salvation Army collecting winter coats for asylum seekers
WATCH: The Salvation Army and the Quebec government are seeking the public’s help to equip newly arrived refugees for winter weather. As Dan Spector reports, they say asylum seekers coming over the border aren’t prepared for Quebec’s cold and snow and are in desperate need of winter clothing.

The Salvation Army and the Quebec government say there is an urgent need for donations of winter clothing to help asylum seekers who are not equipped for winter in Quebec.

PRAIDA, a government organization that helps refugees, asked the Salvation Army to collect clothes for people who have recently crossed into Quebec.

“The thing that’s needed most is winter coats,” said Salvation Army spokesman Bryan Hayward. “A small coat won’t do in our -40 C weather.”

He said the greatest need is coats for men, though they’re also needed for women and children.

READ MORE: 32,000 asylum seekers entered Canada, 6,000 work permits awarded, 9 deported officials say

They also need hats, gloves, scarves and other winter wear.

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Things have quieted down at the border since last summer, when in August alone, more than 5,000 people came to Quebec from the United States.

READ MORE: Over 5,500 asylum seekers crossed Quebec border illegally in August

About 1,500 people came over in November, according to the latest numbers.

Most of the claimants last year were Haitian, and recently the majority have been Nigerian.

READ MORE: Nigerian newcomers grateful to be in Canada, find hope in new surroundings in Montreal

“These are people coming from a country that’s been torn apart by civil war, and they’re coming from the United States into Canada. You can speculate as to whether they feel comfortable staying in the United States,” Hayward said.

People can bring any donations to one of the Salvation Army thrift stores around Montreal.