NOW Magazine - Best of Toronto - - Activism -

CATHY CROWE She sticks out like a sore thumb at anti-poverty demos, a sort of mid­dle­class-look­ing blond in a suit jacket. But if you look down, you see nurse Cathy Crowe’s not sport­ing fine pumps, but run­ning shoes. Which, of course, she needs for treking though the streets min­is­ter­ing to her pa­tients, mon­i­tor­ing shel­ters and, sadly, at­tend­ing in­quests and memo­ri­als. Crowe and the Toronto Dis­as­ter Re­lief Com­mit­tee she works with have sin­gle-hand­edly re­framed home­less­ness as a na­tional emer­gency rather than a taken-for­granted tableau of ur­ban life, and you can’t wan­der far around the city with­out see­ing folks wear­ing but­tons press­ing gov­ern­ments to spend 1% of their bud­gets on hous­ing. Crow is a pain in the neck to all the right peo­ple for all the right rea­sons, push­ing for hous­ing, 24-hour cool­ing cen­tres with food and ser­vices in heat­waves, and warm, safe han­gouts in the deep freeze, and chew­ing out Mayor David Miller for ban­ning the home­less from safe Nathan Phillips Square. A nurse who stands up to power­bro­kers for her

pa­tients? Wish all health care pro­fes­sion­als had the same idea. Sec­ond best cer­tainly goes to the bril­liant OCAP war­riors who thought up the cam­paign to reg­is­ter those on so­cial benefits for the spe­cial nu­tri­tion sup­ple­ment.

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