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Cathy Crowe's blog

Cathy Crowe is a street nurse, author and filmmaker who works nationally and locally on health and social justice issues. She has fostered numerous coalitions and advocacy initiatives that have achieved significant public policy victories. In 1998 she co-founded the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee which issued the 1998 homelessness State of Emergency Declaration that declared homelessness a national disaster and resulted in a new federal program to respond to homelessness. Her work is the subject of a moving documentary titled Street Nurse, directed by Shelley Saywell. Follow her on Twitter @cathyacrowe.

Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog September 16
The Toronto Homeless Memorial showing levered pages to allow the 1,000 plus names to be viewed. Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | The City of Toronto has stopped tracking deaths of homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog August 27
Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | The medical officer of health and mayor have authority to fast track efforts to protect the public and businesses during the pandemic. Then why not direct mask wearing in homeless shelters?
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog July 28
An affordable housing building in Vancouver with inspiring signage such as "dignity, vision, work, home." Image: Cathy Crowe
Beric German | Cathy Crowe's longtime friend and colleague Beric German offers words of wisdom during the pandemic on neoliberalism, capitalism and calls for a new green deal.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog June 29
A teacher stands in front of a bulldozer at an encampment eviction under the Gardiner Expressway. Image: submitted by Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | Without a real national housing program, the economic fallout of COVID-19 will likely lead to growing homeless encampments.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog May 19
A crowded shelter. Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | It took a lawsuit at the Superior Court level to push Toronto to commit to enforceable physical distancing in shelters.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog April 28
Crowded cots on a gymnasium floor in a Toronto community centre show poor physical distancing. Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | Homeless people across the country remain at risk in the pandemic, necessitating legal action by Toronto advocates.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog March 30
Image: Contributed photo
Cathy Crowe | Around the world hotels are being used to shelter homeless people from COVID-19.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog March 9
Image: Prachatai/Flickr
Cathy Crowe | Public health officials have so far failed to develop a plan for homeless populations amid the global COVID-19 outbreak.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog March 2
A microscopic image that shows the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Image: U.S. National Institutes of Health
Cathy Crowe | Public health officials continue to reassure that Canada is at low risk for virus spread. But what about the homeless?
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog February 7
Crowded cots in the hallway warming centre at Metro Hall. Image: Contributed/Cathy Crowe.
Cathy Crowe | While Toronto is in the midst of a culinary event called "Winterlicious," homeless people in Toronto's warming centre receive brown bag meals.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog January 21
Overcrowded respite site showing cots close together. Image: Provided by Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | The homelessness emergency and shelter overcrowding demonstrate lessons have not been learned since the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog December 28
A homeless person sleeps next to Santa's sleigh on a main street in Toronto. Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | Cities across the country are evicting people from outdoor tent encampments. Without a national housing program or municipal support for shelters, the homelessness crisis has become an emergency.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog November 20
Activists hold a banner at a vigil hat says "Declare an Emergency." Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | Toronto's Shelter and Housing Justice Network takes an extreme measure and calls for the mayor to declare a state of emergency on homelessness.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog October 24
Metro Hall cooling centre showing a table with granola bar and water. Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | Toronto city council's recent declaration of a climate emergency is meaningless without measures to protect its most vulnerable citizens.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog September 4
Photo: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | Following her mom's lessons on advocacy, Cathy Crowe complained to the Toronto Sun when she was repeatedly called a "poverty pimp."
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog July 30
Handwritten hearts are left outside Toronto Mayor's office. One says 'Please make the right choice and respond to our housing crisis now!!' Photo credit: Paul Salvatori
Paul Salvatori | There is no relief in the city's heat relief network, nor is there compassion.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog July 7
Image: Pixabay
Cathy Crowe | In more ways than one, public policy is not keeping up with climate change, or the principles of equity and right to shelter.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog April 16
A table and chairs in a hallway with a sign that says Cooling Centre. Image: Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe | Despite its own predictions on the impact of climate change, Toronto cancels its cooling centres for vulnerable populations.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog March 28
City graph that shows June and July shelter numbers higher than the rest of the year. Graph: City of Toronto
Cathy Crowe | Homeless advocates and workers take on the city's communication director over misinformation.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog February 25
Crowded conditions in a Toronto respite centre that shelters 200 people.
Cathy Crowe | A UN report defends access to legal advocacy in the right to housing. Meanwhile, Toronto denied its homelessness crisis emergency status, choosing instead to spare no cost to fix potholes.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog February 6
Cathy Crowe | Last week, Toronto's city council decided homelessness -- which affects over 200,000 people -- does not qualify as an emergency. But the failed measure isn't an excuse not to act.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog January 25
Crowded conditions in one of the second-tier shelters in Toronto shows rows and rows of cots where 200 people sleep. Photo courtesy of Cathy Crowe.
Cathy Crowe | Despite the Liberal government's promises of a National Housing Strategy, homelessness has worsened in nearly every community across the country. It remains a disaster and Toronto is the epicentre.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog December 21
Front page Toronto Star in 1998. "Plight of the homeless a national disaster."
Cathy Crowe | Homelessness has reached post-apocalyptic levels in the absence of a national housing program.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog October 13
A protest banner with words Housing Shelter Safe Space Now
Cathy Crowe | While campaigns for a national right to housing flourish, the same attention is not paid to the right to shelter.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog June 21
Cover of report, "TB or not TB? There is no question" Image from Toronto Disaster Relief Committee archives
Cathy Crowe | Even after a micro-outbreak of tuberculosis in the homeless population in the early 2000s that saw deaths, the city still doesn't get it.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog June 17
Front page of the 1996 Inquest Update. Heading says "Presiding coroner angrily demands: Don't use the H**** word any more!"
Cathy Crowe | Recent inquest into the death of Grant Faulkner, who died in January 2015, excluded evidence on affordable housing, shelter availability, or the effectiveness of the cold weather alert system.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog May 30
A report card grades the four Ontario political parties on a number of social issues. Image credit: Health Providers Against Poverty
Cathy Crowe | Health Providers Against Poverty analyzes Ontario party platforms with an equity lens.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog April 27
A box in the Tent City memory archive shows a KFC box, can of fruit, hammer, electrical cord. Photo credit: Nicole Brumley
Cathy Crowe, Jon Alexander | The Department of Public Memory collaborates with the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee in a hands-on archive to remember their joint campaign for affordable housing.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog March 29
Undercover photo taken showing crowding and inadequate conditions at the Better Living Centre, a winter respite site. Photo credit: Paul Salvatori
Cathy Crowe | This winter an unprecedented array of tactics were necessary just to achieve basic emergency shelter in Toronto.
Blog - Cathy Crowe's blog January 21
Inhumane emergency shelter conditions.
Cathy Crowe | A perfect storm created the conditions for the chronic shortage of shelter beds in Toronto, which can no longer be ignored.

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