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Mississauga community raises nearly $3,000 to honour 'Streetsville Jason'

07/14/2015 04:18 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT
When Streetsville Jason, a homeless man regularly seen around the Streetsville neighbourhood of Mississauga, died on Tuesday morning, a Mississauga woman decided to do something to remember him.

Julia Belmont established a GoFundMe campaign as soon as she heard of Jason's passing, in hopes of raising enough money for a commemorative bench with a plaque.

But within hours of setting up the fundraiser, it became clear she was not the only one mourning.

Nearly three times the original target amount was raised in under three hours.

"Any of my Streetsville locals know Jason," she wrote on her Facebook page. "It is heartbreaking to say goodbye to him."

The neighbourhood Facebook page, Streetsville Living, is filled with tributes to Jason.

Carmello Truscello wrote: "You were always so appreciative of whatever anyone gave you and made part of Streetsville what it is today. Weather you lived there by choice or ended up there through struggle you changed many lives and made a positive difference for so many people. You will be missed, Streetsville won't be the same without you."

And Mark Cashin posted: "It is always easy to walk by people that make us uncomfortable but today we celebrate a community that cares and takes care of everyone. I trust Jason will now find peace and happiness. RIP."

On the GoFundMe page, Belmont wrote that "any donations above and beyond needed for the bench will be donated to the group home that Jason stayed in for many years."

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