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Features Fall 2019

Through Cathy Crowe’s eyes: Climate change impacting the homeless

kirti.vyas November 20, 2019 32


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woman stands in front of a podium that says Toronto on it at City Hall with eight indivduals standing behind her in a line
Street nurse Cathy Crowe speaks at a press conference with anti-poverty advocates on Jan. 31, 2018, calling for the City of Toronto to ensure 1000 temporary beds in the city remain open for the homeless during the homelessness crisis (RSJ/Kirti Vyas).

The City of Toronto declared a climate emergency in Toronto following the Global Climate Strike on September 27.

Cathy Crowe, a street nurse and a distinguished professor at Ryerson University, believes that the city should be doing more to address individuals in Toronto that are most affected by climate change, the homeless.

I interviewed Cathy in mid-October at a Starbucks near the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, right before she was expected to speak at a panel regarding her book, A Knapsack Full of Dreams: Memoirs of a Street Nurse.

The cover of A Knapsack Full of Dreams: Memoirs of A Street Nurse by Cathy Crowe
Cathy Crowe’s latest book cover. (Courtesy of Freisenpress)
starbucks cup
I hold a Starbucks cup following my meeting with Cathy Crowe, on Oct. 19, 2019. (RSJ/Kirti Vyas)

She’s been advocating on behalf of marginalized communities for 30 years and she calls for the city to do more to recognize that the homeless are the ones most impacted by the climate crisis.

woman wearing a 1% button looks off into the distance
Cathy Crowe, a street nurse in the City of Toronto, wears a one per cent housing campaign button following a visit to Toronto City Hall. (Courtesy of Bishari Films)

Josephine Grey, a human rights organizer, has been working in the field for more than 30 years in Toronto and has watched Cathy grow into the individual she is today. She shares her sentiments about the housing crisis and the impact that climate change has on vulnerable people in the city.

a woman stnads in front of a blue brick wall. she wears a light purple beanie and cream-coloured sweater.
Josephine Grey, a human rights organizer in the City of Toronto stands firmly in front of a blue brick wall at the Science Discovery Zone on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (RSJ/Kirti Vyas)

Listen to this six minute and five second long audio story in Cathy Crowe’s eyes, about how the climate crisis affects the city’s homeless. Her statements are supported by human rights organizer, Josephine Grey.

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