‘I’m so angry I can’t even cry right now’ Candlelight vigil held for Kelowna man who died at homeless camp

Shane Bourdin, a father of three, died at a temporary homeless camp earlier this week

Friends and family gathered at a candlelight vigil at Kelowna’s temporary overnight shelter at Recreation Park on Wednesday night to pay their respects to Shane Bourdin, a father of three who died in the area earlier this week.

During the event, approximately 75 people held glow sticks and candles around a memorial to honour Bourdin and the loved ones he left behind.

One person who traveled all the way from Alberta to attend the ceremony was Shane’s mother Theresa Whittier.

During the event, Whittier said she was frustrated that nothing more had been done to save her son’s life while he was camping in the cold.

“I’m so angry I can’t even cry right now. My son died being out here,” said Theresa.

“Now that he’s died, the city is rushing to put all these people indoors. Why did this not happen while my son was still alive?”.

Theresa said her son has left behind a number of close family members, including three children.

“My son is dead. He’s gone forever and his kids will never see him again and neither will I,” said Whittier

“I need to be proud of what he has done to help out all of his family down here in the tents. I’m so proud of my son and I’ll hold onto him in my heart forever.”

Kelowna resident Bryn Mcnair, who came down to the shelter over the last two weeks to help out those in need, said Bourdin would often go out of his way to help other people.

“He always had a huge smile and was always willing to help,” said Bryn

“If any of us came in with food or water, he was the first to say ‘hey, can I help you.’”

Kelowna residents at the vigil also dropped off Naloxone kits and toiletries to help get people experiencing homelessness at the shelter through the winter.

According to officials, paramedics responded to a call for an unconscious man at Recreation Avenue site in the north end of the city early in the morning on Dec. 16. He was transported to Kelowna General Hospital, where he later died.

RCMP Cst. Solana Paré said the B.C. Coroners Service were notified and they are now investigating, however at this time there were no further details to release.

In November, the city moved people experiencing homelessness on Leon Avenue to two different temporary overnight shelters in the north end of the city, including a site at Recreation Avenue and at the base of Knox Mountain Park.

According to Homeless Hub, approximately 286 people are experiencing homelessness in Kelowna.

READ MORE: Candlelight vigil organized for father of two who died at Kelowna homeless camp


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Sparkling Hill Resort donates produce to Vernon food bank, gloves to hospital

Operating manager says layoffs resulted in spare materials that are much needed amid COVID-19

Vernon woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

No hesitation; two bystanders assist in South Okanagan house fire rescue

“I’d do it for anybody,” says Penticton man after assisting in house fire rescue

Fur Brigade Trail was transportation route in Okanagan Valley

Transportation corridor passed through Nicola Prairie, now Summerland

RCMP, firefighters rally in support for health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters Saturday night

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

Most Read