The FirstOntario Centre has hosted rock stars and Hamilton Bulldogs hockey players, but on Saturday evening, it welcomed its first wave of homeless men looking for shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former Copps Coliseum has been transformed into a makeshift shelter for men, complete with a medical room, isolation room, dinner space, beds and recreational activities.

Brian Kreps, program manager of social housing from the city’s housing services division, told CBC News the 17,000-square-foot venue will help reduce the demand at the other three shelters for men (Good Shepherd Centre, Mission Services and the Salvation Army).