WINNIPEG – A man known as Winnipeg’s “homeless hero” is being remembered as someone who battled alcoholism and other demons until his final days.
Faron Hall’s body was pulled from the Red River on Sunday and police say the death is not considered suspicious.
Hall, 49, gained fame in 2009 when he risked his own life two separate times to save people from drowning in the river.
Hall sometimes lived underneath a bridge and was candid about a lifelong battle with alcoholism.
Marion Willis, who housed Hall in recent years, told Global News she couldn’t stop crying Tuesday.
He often sought treatment, but could not get into a long-term addictions program, she said.
Hall was in and out of jail, usually for violating an order to abstain from alcohol, and told her a few weeks ago he was going to beat the bottle, she said.
“Faron was more than the hero we knew. He was also the poster guy for a treatment and correctional system that simply could not help him,” Willis said in a statement emailed to Global News. “It’s my hope that as a society we will honour his life and all he gave by lobbying hard for change.”
Manitoba deputy premier Eric Robinson talked with Hall in June and said Hall was stubborn and battled serious addiction, but was a kind soul who respected people.
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