(File photo)

Deceased Okanagan man ‘fought to serve our country’

The West Kelowna 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, not that he served in the military.

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.

Just Posted

Penticton students take aim at bullying with Be Kind initiative

The initiative aims to replace Anti-Bullying Day with year-round activities.

Security footage shows grab and go of cash in Penticton business break-in

Marla Black is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who broke into Winemaster

Vehicle taken by gunpoint in Penticton carjacking recovered

Penticton RCMP said the criminal investigation remains very active and ongoing

Festival of all things spicy kicks off in the Similkameen

Organizers say Sizzle keeps getting bigger and bigger

RDOS to study sites for composting facility

Penticton and Okanagan Falls landfills will be examined

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Climate protesters temporarily shut down road in downtown Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Most Read