Grant Faulkner's death 'ought not to have happened'
The tragic death of a homeless man who died when his makeshift shelter caught fire on a cold winter night is one that was preventable, says a local church leader.
On Monday, a funeral was being held at Agincourt's St. Timothy's Anglican Church for Grant "Gunner" Faulkner, a man whose body was found nearly two weeks ago in a shed near McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue East.
Rev. John Stephenson said that the circumstances of Faulkner's death have caught the public's attention.
"I think Grant's death on a very cold night kind of sparked people's outrage at what's been going on here in Scarborough, where there are so few facilities [and] poor infrastructure to care for the homeless and marginally housed," Stephenson said in an interview.
"This is a tremendous tragedy which ought not to have happened," he added later.
Stephenson said Faulkner had many friends in the Scarborough area.
"Grant was a guy with a great smile, always joking, the kind of guy you'd want to be around," Stephenson said. "You'd sit at the table at lunch or breakfast with him and there was always a joke, always a laugh. He was a lovely guy to be around."
Stephenson said that Faulkner's friends are "deeply, deeply moved with sadness" over his death.
"It's a very long chain of events that happened that night, but if there had been more resources [and] better infrastructure to care for the homeless and the marginally housed in Scarborough, there would have been resources provided so this would not have happened," said Stephenson.
A funeral notice posted on the Ogden Funeral Homes website indicates that Faulkner was just a few weeks shy of his 50th birthday. He will be buried in Manitoulin Island later this year.