Kingston’s unhoused community is grieving the loss of one of its own after the death of Barry Badour on Tuesday.
“We just miss him,” says Justine McIsaac, the consumption treatment co-ordinator at the Integrated Care Hub (ICH). She had known Badour for 13 years.
Badour was a recent resident of the Portsmouth sleeping cabin program and a valued member of its advisory committee.
“He was just a special man,” says Nicky Hanson of the ICH. “He was very supportive of other people, he was very vocal about the struggles that people we serve deal with on the daily. He was just a joy in many ways. Very kind, and just always supportive of people when they needed it the most.”
Remembered as a sweet soul, an insightful advisor and a true friend, 53-year-old Badour struggled with homelessness from an early age.
Ever an advocate for his community, he recently moved into one of the sleeping cabins that he helped make a reality.
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According to Street Health Centre community liaison Ryan Rolfe, being in a place of his own when he died was a dream of his.
“He voiced that he didn’t want to die alone in the streets,” says Rolfe. “And that, that alone gives me comfort knowing that he passed surrounded by people that loved him, and in his own space.”
Housing advocate Chrystal Wilson says in an Our Living Solutions Facebook post that “the entire unhoused community will feel this loss, those of us at the cabin community are heartbroken.”
To honour Badour, the cabin community will be having spaghetti and meatballs, his favourite meal, for Wednesday night’s dinner.
McIsaac says Badour was a man who always shared what little he had when his friends were in need.
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“I know this seems small, insignificant to other people, but I think of his instant coffee,” she says. “He would buy a jar of instant coffee … and any time he would bring it down, if somebody asked, ‘Hey, can I have some of that?’ he always said yes. Always said yes. And like I said, that seems like a small thing in some people’s worlds, but that’s a big deal in our world.”
Friends of Badour hope that people can see that there is more to a person than the struggles they face.
“There’s always more to the person than what society sees,” says Rolfe.