British Columbia

Homeless Keno winner Steve Borik refuses offers of charity

Steve Borik says he doesn't need charity, he just wants to get on with his life.

Borik says he doesn't need charity, he just wants to claim his prize and get on with his life

Steve Borik says he just wants to claim his prize and get on with his life 2:17

A homeless man in Vancouver who can't claim his $25,000 Keno prize because he doesn't have ID says thanks, but no thanks, to offers of financial help that have come in since he shared his story with CBC.

"I don't want charity. I just want them to cash my ticket so I can go on with my life," said Steve Borik. "That's more or less of it. I'm not looking for anything from anybody."

Borik, 57, lives in makeshift homes he builds himself from discarded materials. He won the prize in July, but he doesn't have any official documents to prove he's the winner. Borik was caught in a vicious bureaucratic circle, until CBC stepped in to help him file paperwork that would get him his birth certificate from Montreal.

After the story aired, others offered to help as well. 

First came the offer from Buffalo Airways, in Northwest Territories. The company's general manager, Mikey McBryan, noticed Borik was wearing one of the airline's hoodies and offered to put him in a hotel for Christmas.

"I got a pay cheque — 1,100 bucks on Friday. And I spent 800 of it on a hotel myself," said Borik. "So, I do have lodging for the next couple of weeks."

Then another offer came in, this time because of his hat. Someone at Burnaby's Scott Construction saw the company's logo on Borik's baseball cap and offered him a job. 

"I used to work for them for a little bit there a couple of summers ago, I guess," said Borik. "I appreciate that. I must have done something right."

Borik said he's been surprised by the outpouring of support. 

"I'm very appreciative. I didn't think it would go like this to tell you the truth. I'm kinda overwhelmed by the whole thing," he said.  

Still, he feels confident he can get by on his own until his birth certificate arrives in Vancouver in about three weeks. 

"I'll be okay," he said. "I'm a survivor." 

With files from Belle Puri


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