By: Randy Pages and Kara Layher
Randy Pages is a member of our Client Action Committee. Kara Layher is a Communications Specialist at Calgary Homeless Foundation
Two weeks ago, a member of our Client Action Committee (CAC) Lorne MacKenzie passed away. Lorne was with the CAC for about 18 months, his time before was spent at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehabilitation Centre. Lorne spent a lot of time in the Art Room at the Drop-In Centre, and was also well known for his stand-up comedy which he did for 20 years. He had an impact on everyone who he met, and his friends and support network with the CAC were incredibly affected by the news of his passing. Fellow CAC member and friend Randy Pages asked if he could write something for his friend Lorne:
I have been very fortunate to have met some amazing people in my life, one of them being Lorne MacKenzie.
I have been putting this off for as long as I could. How do you put into words how someone has affected you? Lorne was more than just a colleague he was my friend, a father, a brother and an incredibly funny person. He always had a joke, sometimes they were funny, sometimes not so. From the first time we met at the CAC, I felt his passion. He was real and raw, a personality you don’t see too much of now a days. He was someone who I always hoped I’d run into downtown and get a cup of coffee with, just to hear his stories.
He was just starting to make his mark with the CAC, and his passing is a shock to us – going to a CAC meeting will never be the same. I will look at the chair he sat at and still see him.
We at the CAC are a family – we understand each other, because we have all been there. When one hurts we all hurt. When one slips we all do. Losing a member of our family is something that will bring us together and make us stronger. He would want that. He was up front with us regarding his health and he joked about it – he liked to joke being the comedian that he was. We can never replace him at our table and in our hearts.
We had a meeting today. We told a few short stories of the times with him. Just not the same without you.
Just knowing you has made me a better person and for that I thank you.
Much love brother wherever you are.
Lorne will be incredibly missed, his advocacy and passion will not be forgotten.
 CHF’s Client Action Committee are all individuals who have lived experience of homelessness. They meet bi-monthly and provide unique guidance to CHF, providing insight into what we’re doing well and where we can improve.