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Old Phoenix school becomes shelter for asylum seekers

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Posted at 12:01 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 15:01:13-04

PHOENIX (AP) - An international refugee organization and local non-profit groups have converted an old elementary school in south Phoenix into a shelter to sleep up to 277 people seeking asylum in the U.S.

Beth Strano of the International Rescue Committee of Arizona said Wednesday the Welcome Center will be able to sleep some 80 adults and children on new cots in the auditorium starting next week and 277 by summer's end.

Shelter organizers say they aim to ease the stress of church and other groups in the greater Phoenix area that can struggle to find enough beds for asylum-seekers needing a night or two of lodging after immigration authorities release them.

Asylum-seekers will also receive meals, legal advice and help contacting U.S. relatives they can stay with while their cases are heard.