Actor Adam Beach and dozens of others turned out Thursday night to honour Winnipeg's ‘homeless hero’ at a vigil held at the base of the Provencher Bridge.

Faron Hall drowned in the Red River last week. His body was recovered Sunday.

Hall’s friend, Marion Willis, helped organize the memorial at the Esplanade Riel.


Faron Hall is shown in this 2011 photo. His body was recovered from the Red River this weekend, according to family.

"It was almost like he was here, too,” said Willis. “Nothing was ever easy with Faron and not even doing this was easy for Faron, actually, but I think it was really very important. This has validated the pain."

Faron’s relatives, street family and even strangers braved the downpour under the bridge to remember him.

“He had his street family, and his street family really feels the pain and they're going to really feel his loss because he was a king down here.”

Hall put a face to homelessness in the city, something that Willis said is helping to ease the pain and impact on Hall’s street family.

"It's helped them to heal a little bit tonight, I think,” said Willis. “You know they understand that they're not alone, that we're here, we care, and that they're not forgotten."

Beach, who grew up in the North End, said he's seen bad things in the city but the turnout at Tuesday's vigil for Hall and Tina Fontaine give him hope.

“We have to understand, the homeless that are out there, they were once children, they were once fathers, or mothers and we have to pay respect to that human being,” said Beach.

Beach said it was important for him to pay tribute to Hall.

The memorial for Hall started at 7 p.m. Thursday at the base of the Provencher Bridge, where Hall saved two people from drowning.