(File photo)

Homeless West Kelowna man found dead in tent remembered well

The man was found dead in what’s believed to be a homeless camp

A West Kelowna man who was found dead in a homeless camp fell through the cracks, say members of the shelter that served him.

The West Kelowna Shelter Society released a statement about the man who was found, identifiying him as a 50 year old client of the facility they operate. The BC Coroners Service is investigating the death alongside West Kelowna RCMP.

“He fought to serve our country, and through a series of unfortunate events had recently fallen on hard times,” said Carly Shipmaker of the West Kelowna Shelter Society, in a statement. She explained that meant that he struggled and didn’t want to fall through the cracks.

Shipmaker said it’s a, “tragic and heartbreaking time.” And she took the opportunity to address the stigma surrounding people experiencing homelessness.

READ MORE: Body found in West Kelowna homeless camp

READ MORE: Kelowna homelessness count shows more people without shelter

“These individuals are constantly being beaten down with ridicule and prejudice. The fact is that horrible things do not discriminate, they can happen to anybody at anytime,” Shipmaker said.

“The community within the shelter setting and people experiencing homelessness is one of the strongest bonds I have ever seen and have had the privilege of being a part of.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna homeless population is 61 % First Nation, according to survey

Temperatures had been as low as -12 C in the days preceding the man’s death.

“At this time, criminality is not suspected in the man’s death as the investigation continues,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the Kelowna Regional Detachment in a press release March 8.

The deceased’s name will not be released to protect his privacy. The RCMP and the BC Coroners Service have no further information as of yet.

READ MORE: West Kelowna homeless out in the cold after shelter runs at max capacity

In February, in an interview with the Capital News, Shipmaker said the society’s shelter on Brown Road has been operating at capacity since it opened this winter and as needs rise, they aren’t able to keep up. They have had to turn people away.

The shelter has been operated in the Westbank United Church by the West Kelowna Shelter Society for the past four years.

They started with 30 beds but since Inn from the Cold’s closure, the shelter increased its capacity to 38. West Kelowna completed its first homeless count in July and found that there are 72 people experiencing homelessness at any given time in the city.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

*CORRECTION: THIS STORY HAS BEEN CHANGED TO ADDRESS CONFUSION AROUND A STATEMENT. WHEN SHIPMAKER SAID THE MAN FOUGHT TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY AND THROUGH A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS HAD RECENTLY FALLEN ON HARD TIMES, SHE DID NOT MEAN HE WAS A VETERAN. THE STORY HAS BEEN CHANGED TO ADDRESS THAT CONFUSION

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Woman rescued from West Kelowna trail

The woman had to be rescued after falling on a trail and hurting her ankle

Kelowna woman to run ultramarathon for mental health awareness

After losing a friend to suicide, Melissa Gosse was reminded of how important mental wellbeing is

Kelowna-Mission Liberal candidate announced

Local developer Renee Merrifield is running for the BC Liberal Party in Kelowna-Mission

“Save Peachland’s Turner Park” petition gains traction

Local residents started the petition a week ago

Kelowna Liberal MLAs respond to ‘opportunistic’ snap election call

‘We have a fixed election date for a reason: so politicians like Mr. Horgan can’t try to arrange election dates when it suits political parties’

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Truck, Shuswap police vehicle collide during arrest of wanted man

Emergency response team and helicopter called out to assist in Chase area arrest

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

Shuswap search and rescue crew respond to dirt biker injured on Mount Ida

North Vancouver man transported to hospital for treatment of injuries

Popular South Okanagan cafe shuts its doors

Saint Germaine Cafe and Gallery served its last latte Sept. 19

Most Read