Penticton helps a man and his dog go from homeless to happy in a Winnebago

Wayne and his dog Singer went from being homeless in Penticton to having his own Winnebago thanks to a caring group of strangers who wanted to make a difference. (Contributed photos)Wayne and his dog Singer went from being homeless in Penticton to having his own Winnebago thanks to a caring group of strangers who wanted to make a difference. (Contributed photos)
Wayne and his dog Singer went from being homeless in Penticton to having his own Winnebago thanks to a caring group of strangers who wanted to make a difference. (Contributed photos)Wayne and his dog Singer went from being homeless in Penticton to having his own Winnebago thanks to a caring group of strangers who wanted to make a difference. (Contributed photos)

There is power in kindness. That was seen in the past week when a gentle soul named Wayne and his old dog Singer went from living on the streets of Penticton to being set up in a Winnebago, with money raised by the community of Penticton.

Kim Cameron, a full-time nurse, first met Wayne and Singer outside the Tim Hortons, near Walmart.

After speaking with Wayne about his situation, Cameron decided to start a GoFundMe page for Wayne and Singer. Her goal was to raise $9,000 to help buy a used camper van for Wayne and veterinarian bills to help Singer.

By Monday, April 26, just seven days later, more than $17,000 had been raised. But the kindness doesn’t stop there. Others reached out to Cameron asking how they could get involved.

A group of women, now named the Okanagan Angels, was formed with a goal of finding Wayne a camper van. He told them he loves horses and would trade his skills with horses for a place to lay his head.

Cameron told him how much the people of Penticton want to be there for him. “He couldn’t believe it. He just stared at me and said, ‘really?’” said Cameron.

Wayne is nomadic. He has travelled all over B.C. and into Alberta with Singer. He has been her human for more than 12 years. But Singer is in need of serious vet care with a lump on her hip that is bigger than a softball.

Wayne was living in his car up until last year, but the police impounded it for safety reasons, said Cameron.

He has been sleeping with Singer in a tent near the channel for the last six months. He has osteoarthritis and finds it hard to bend. But even in his state, he was still collecting bottles and cans and leaving them for others in need.

He tried staying at Compass House but people kept stealing from him, he said.

Lois Wager is one of the Okanagan Angels who joined those helping Wayne and Singer. She connected with a veterinarian and Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland to help his dog.

“Singer was at the vet and had a tissue sample taken and sent off. Critteraid kindly paid the vet cost today and will continue to take care of Singer’s future vet fees. How fantastic is that,” said Wager, who drove Wayne and Singer to the vet. The results from Singer’s tests aren’t known yet.

The group put Wayne up in a Penticton hotel while they searched for a camper van. Then on the weekend, Brad from Summerland, reached out to say he had a Winnebago that might be a perfect fit. Wayne and the angels went to check it out and now he is the proud new owner of a Winnebago.

“Thank you to all the people in our communities who helped in making this happen in seven days! I never dreamed this possible and yet here we are. I cannot tell you how proud I am to be a part of such a caring community,” said Cameron on Monday night on several Penticton Facebook groups.

Accent Fireplace and Gallery along with Penticton Husky are donating a $500 gift card and coffee for life.

“So many people have come forward with offerings for Wayne to see their horses and assist with them,” Cameron said.

A lot of people have asked if the Okanagan Angels are going to help others in similar situations in Penticton. “We agreed that the team wants to carry on helping people like Wayne and Singer. I also talked to Wayne about it,” Cameron said.

Wayne wants all the money raised in the GoFundMe to go to help others in need. “I can’t wait to start helping people too,” he told Cameron.

Cameron replied; “Wayne, you have no idea how many people you have already helped by all of this.”

READ ALSO: Alberta man tries to enter the U.S. via kayak

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

Town has passed the 2021 budget, with a five per cent spending increase. (Claire Palmer photo)
Town council approves 2021 budget and tax rate bylaw

The budget will increase by five per cent this year

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

The City of Vernon is taking a close look at six high-priority Okanagan Lake access points, including three sites along Tronson Road (pictured above) in May 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looking closely at Okanagan Lake access points

Six access points have been identified as ideal for recreation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in South Okanagan

The area will see higher police presence ahead of a forensic examination

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
More than 40% of Central Okanagan residents have received 1st vaccine dose

Local clinics have administered 81,247 first doses to Central Okanagan residents

Most Read