BEST ADVOCATE FOR THE CITY’S HOMELESS
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.