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'He was my baby': Memorial service held for man who died in N.B. public washroom

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A crowd of around 150 people gathered at St. George's Anglican Church Wednesday to remember Luke Landry. The 35-year-old died last Monday inside a public washroom next to Moncton City Hall.

After overdosing in the afternoon, staff at Ensemble Moncton, an overdose prevention site, tried to find a place for him to stay the night.

After hours of trying, shelter couldn't be found for Landry and he left Ensemble with no place to stay.

Charlie Burrell, the founder of the Humanity Project, was in attendance at the service and said Landry's death didn't need to happen.

"It's preventable and more people are going to fall through the cracks so we shouldn't let him die in vain. A lot of people are out there struggling and need help and our system is failing them and people deserve better than that," said Burrell.

Landry had lived in Moncton for the better part of a decade. He was a devout Christian, and the father of two little girls in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Kim Spencer was a client of Harvest House shelter with Landry in 2014 and 2015 and said his old friend was quite the rapper.

"He could dance like nobody could dance. A very energetic individual and he loved people. Bottom line, he loved people and he tried to help somebody when he could," said Spencer.

CTV News spoke to Landry's mother Mary MacDonald from her home in Prince George, B.C. on Tuesday.

MacDonald talked to her son the day he died. She said he had gotten out of jail that morning and had nothing, so she sent him $100 for boots and clothes.

She knew he wasn't dressed properly for the weather and Landry wanted new boots and jeans because he had a lot of pride and didn't want to look like he was down on his luck.

MacDonald is aware front line workers at Ensemble Moncton tried to find shelter for her son, but none was available.

"He left there trying to find something on his own," said MacDonald. "I don't know what happened. I believe in what she [Ensemble staff member] said that he wasn't safe to go out... and he was let out."

She doesn't know for sure, but suspects her son died of a drug overdose.

"He was my baby and I had so much hope for him," said an emotional MacDonald. "I kept thinking he could turn this around. He had promised he would call me... the last thing he said to me when I talked to him was, 'I love you mom.'"

MacDonald was glad to hear there was a memorial service in Moncton for her son.

"It's a place for his friends to grieve and he had many friends in Moncton. A lot of the homeless people in Moncton were his friends as well," she said.

MacDonald is relieved to hear about a new emergency shelter in Moncton, but wants more for people coming out of jail, struggling with addiction and living on the street.

"People are going to die if some things don't change. My son deserves to be recognized for who he was. He's not a street person, he was so much more," said MacDonald.

She highlighted that Landry was not a bad person, just someone with a bad problem.

Her son's ashes will be sent to her in Prince George and a celebration of life for him will be held this summer in Cape Breton.

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