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.

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

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

The downtown kiosks were recently painted black. Tourism Revelstoke said decals still need to be added and information inside the kiosks will also be updated. The city said the black paint is temporary as the area is slotted to be completely revamped in the coming years. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Newly painted black Revelstoke kiosks temporary fix; city

The recent colour changed caused an uproar on Facebook

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read