Years ago, her aunt froze to death on the streets of Toronto. She wasn't homeless. Just considered to be.
"She happened to fall down and hit her head," said her niece.
"And was left there as a homeless person to die. What a sad story. That people just walk by and don't take a moment of consideration out of their day to think and to know that they're human beings who have a heart, who have a life, who have a word, who have a story."
But she's different.
"I've sat down with them," she said. "I've stopped. I've hugged them. I've given them money. I've given them food. I've given them my love. I've given them the time of day to be acknowledged as a human being."
Not many would.
"And we're all here to help each other," she said. "We have to unite together. It's Christmas time. It's a time for giving. And love is cheap. It's free. And everybody has it and everybody can give it."
But not everybody does.
"And I came here just by accident today," she said.
The second Tuesday of the month. The day that homeless men, women and children who've died on the streets of Toronto are remembered at a memorial vigil held outside the Church of the Holy Trinity.
"And so I came here and look at what I found. A huge blessing of thanks from the community. From people who care."
It was an overcast, bitterly cold day in Toronto. With the windchill, it felt like -16C. But no extreme cold weather alert had been called for the city. No extra homelessness services.
That only happens when Environment Canada predicts an overnight temperature of -15C or lower without wind chill.
On Tuesday overnight, the forecast was -7C with a windchill of -16C. Cold enough to leave anyone susceptible to frostbite or hypothermia. Especially those who spend long periods of time outdoors.
Like homeless men and women.
Thank you for reading this story...
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.
If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.
We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.