Brad Joyce, a 63-year-old resident of sleeping cabin ‘one’ at Portsmouth Olympic harbor, died unexpectedly on Boxing Day.
The cabin’s executive director, Chrystal Wilson, said, “He’d been seen, not even five minutes before and the staff found him down and weren’t able to recover him and paramedics weren’t able to recover him.”
She says Joyce, known as ‘Gator’ to his friends, had an unknown medical condition.
“We’ve since found out it was a heart attack,” she said.
Global News interviewed ‘Gator’ about his living conditions in the sleeping cabins in March 2022.
“You’ve got a bed, what else could you want — you’ve got a bed, a fridge, a dresser, whatever you want, all the foods here.”
With a roof over his head, Joyce had been taking advantage of programming available through the sleeping cabin pilot project. Wilson says Joyce was an example of how a person can get their life on track with the proper supports in place.
“He was motivated to get housed and come back and have a job with us. He had been doing the courses that our employees do.”
Sleeping cabin staff member Mark Sousa says Joyce’s presence will be missed.
“He had the biggest heart anyone could have. He would give you the shirt off his back. He helped all the residents that are here and he helped staff with cleaning and working.”
Staff and residents at the sleeping cabin community are holding a meeting Monday evening to plan a celebration of life for Joyce. A service is being held at Gordon F. Tompkins funeral home on Davis Drive this Friday starting at 11 a.m. His family says all are welcome.
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