Homeless Kamloops man found dead of suspected exposure at camp along river | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Homeless Kamloops man found dead of suspected exposure at camp along river

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A homeless man died outside in the cold in Kamloops last week, according to sources.

Rick Greenstone frequented the Cllementem storage facility on West Victoria Street, operated by the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society.

“He had been tenting all winter having trouble accessing services,” Jennifer Adams, housing coordinator with the friendship society, said. “I advocated for him as there was a refusal from some agencies to support him.”

Adams said Greenstone was a regular at the facility where he’d change his clothes and access laundry, food, coffee and conversation, but he stopped showing up over a week ago.

Adams said she got confirmation of the death early last week after RCMP talked to staff at the storage facility. No one knows yet how he died, but sources are presuming he died of exposure.

“Police said he had passed and was found at his camp near the river,” she said. “He wasn’t a heavy user and we don’t know how he passed, but he died cold, it would have been cold.”

Adams did not disclose what supportive agencies banned Greenstone and didn’t have clear details on what he did to get banned.

“I struggled with that because the thing is with folks living in those kinds of conditions, we can’t expect them to be Pollyanna, he got angry and kicked a tire or something and got banned.”

READ MORE: Investigation still early in fiery Kamloops death

She described Greenstone as helpful, sweet and funny with “a charming English accent.”

“He would often stay out and camp and watch over other banned people,” she said. “He was a guardian for vulnerable women on the street, they always talked highly of him. I’ve never had any negative interactions with him.”

In November 2021 a homeless man in a wheelchair known on the streets as Sam Mack died outside in the elements. 

READ MORE: Kelowna's homeless population expected to double by 2026

Mack was a Canadian Mental Health Association client, according to Kamloops branch executive director Alfred Achoba in a previous interview with iNFOnews. When outreach workers found his body, they discovered that Mack was not wearing clothes and he was not in his wheelchair.

READ MORE: Homeless man who died outside in Kamloops will be missed among street community

The exact date of Greenstone's death is unclear and officials wouldn't confirm any information. 

"Under the Privacy and B.C. Coroners Acts we cannot confirm the name of any deceased person unless doing so would help to further an investigation," said Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Crystal Evelyn in an email to iNFOnews. 

Manager of strategic communications and media relations for the B.C. Coroners Service, Ryan Panton, also refused to release any information on the case. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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