[Hpn] November Newsletter

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 9 Nov 2004 19:00:47 -0500


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Cathy Crowe November 2004 Newsletter----- Original Message -----=20
From: Crowe News=20



Cathy Crowe Newsletter No. 5, November 2004=20

      I've been a street nurse in Toronto for 15 years. In the spring of =
2004 I received the Atkinson Economic Justice Award which permits me to =
pursue, for up to three years, my passions for nursing and working on =
homelessness and housing issues. In this newsletter I hope to report on =
my activities, create a link to a broader group of individuals who care =
about these social issues and encourage critical debate.=20

      Further information about subscribing to the newsletter is found =
below.  I want to hear from you - about the newsletter, about things =
that are happening in the homelessness sector (what a sad term!), and =
about good things which will provide inspiration for all of us.
     =20

      ****
      In this newsletter:
      1. "How are the Tent City people doing?"
      2. My meeting with Joe Fontana, Minister of Housing=20
      3. National Housing Day - November 22=20
      4. Subscribe to This Newsletter
      ****

      1. "How are the Tent City people doing?"


      People often ask me how the Tent City folks are doing. I continue =
to stay connected with a number of the former Tent City residents and =
I'm always so happy when I run into one of them and hear how happy they =
are to have their own place to live, their own fridge to slam, their own =
toilet to flush! Several are involved in housing activism with the =
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and have joined TDRC's Speakers Bureau =
and Steering Committee. In fact I've asked one of them to leave his warm =
apartment on the eve of National Housing Day to join me sleeping outside =
at the "Great Sleep Out" in solidarity with other homeless people at =
Toronto's City Hall (more on National Housing Day below!).

      A report on this historic success From Tent City to Housing - An =
Evaluation of the City of Toronto's Emergency Homelessness Pilot Project =
is now posted on the Shelter, Housing and Support website of the City of =
Toronto . If you're meeting with provincial or federal elected officials =
this is an excellent resource (with great photos) to prove the point =
that homeless people want housing, can keep housing and that rent =
supplements are an immediate means to that end.=20

      2. My meeting with Joe Fontana, Minister of Housing=20

      In October I flew to Ottawa with Michael Shapcott, Researcher with =
the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and University of Toronto's Centre =
for Urban and Community Studies, to meet with Housing Minister Joe =
Fontana, who also has responsibility for the federal homelessness =
strategy. Until this summer, the homelessness minister was Claudette =
Bradshaw, and the housing file was held by a series of ministers =
(including Alfonso Gagliano, who is in the papers a lot these days due =
to the sponsorship scandal). We were joined by Minister Fontana's =
Parliamentary Secretary Judi Longfield, along with the senior =
bureaucrats from the National Homelessness Secretariat and Canada =
Mortgage and Housing Corporation, plus several policy advisers.

      Compared to other meetings I've had with federal ministers =
responsible for housing, Minister Fontana seemed to have a strong grasp =
on the need for federal investment in "social" housing (and he asked us =
to use that language as opposed to "affordable" housing!). He expressed =
a strong belief that everyone deserved a home. The Minister accepted =
Michael and my invitation to come to Toronto and partake in a tour of =
our local situation. He is particularly interested in looking at =
innovative housing programs. Unfortunately, he was not able to share =
with us any news of additional housing monies in the Spring 2005 Budget.

      Well Minister Fontana came to town last week (November 5) but I =
didn't seem him. He did a bit of spending - just a bit. The federal and =
Ontario governments announced $8.7 million for 325 affordable housing =
units in a joint announcement. This, along with the estimated $10 =
million that has already been announced, means that the federal and =
provincial governments have committed about 2.5% of the $732 million =
that they have promised over the past three years for new affordable =
housing in Ontario. Between 84 and 170 of the 325 new homes announced =
today will be geared to low-income people. None are in Toronto.

      The announcement of an additional $8.7 million in federal and =
provincial affordable housing spending for 325 units brings to an =
estimated $19 million the total housing spending in the province over =
the past three years. In 2001, the federal government promised to spend =
$244.1 million on new affordable housing in Ontario over five years. In =
2003, the federal government added $122 million. The province agreed to =
match that funding.

      During the 2003 provincial election, the "Strong Communities" =
platform of the McGuinty Liberals stated: "We will match federal support =
to create almost 20,000 new housing units for needy Ontario families."

      Well, where's the money? All the more reason to keep reading.=20

      3.  Now it's time to talk about National Housing Day - November 22 =


      On October 8, 1998 the Toronto Star headline read: "Plight of the =
homeless a national disaster." That morning the Toronto Disaster Relief =
Committee issued a call for emergency relief dollars and for the 1% =
solution - a national housing programme.

      Each year we mark November 22 as National Housing Day. This is the =
day in 1998 when the Big City Mayors' Caucus of the Federation of =
Canadian Municipalities endorsed the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee's =
declaration that homelessness was a national disaster. A number of =
communities are holding events on or near to this day and they are noted =
on the web site of TDRC www.tdrc.net.

      It's worth looking at the 1998 declaration:

      The State of Emergency Declaration=20

      "We call on all levels of government to declare homelessness a =
national disaster requiring emergency humanitarian relief. We urge that =
they immediately develop and implement a National Homelessness Relief =
and Prevention Strategy using disaster relief funds both to provide the =
homeless with immediate health protection and housing and to prevent =
further homelessness. Canada has signed the International Covenant on =
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights guaranteeing everyone's right to =
"an adequate standard of living. including adequate food, clothing and =
housing." Homeless people have no decent standard of living; our =
governments are violating these Human Rights.  Despite Canada 's =
reputation for providing relief to people made temporarily homeless by =
natural disasters, our governments are unwilling to help the scores of =
thousands of people in Canada condemned to homelessness. Morally, =
economically, socially, and legally, we cannot allow homelessness to =
become "normal" in Canadian life. Inaction betrays many thousands of us =
to a miserable existence and harms our society for years to come."   =
(available at www.tdrc.net)=20

      We continue to wait, impatiently, for a political solution, a =
fully funded national housing programme. In the meantime, homeless =
deaths increase, tuberculosis continues to erupt - now infecting =
workers, and new emerging threats such as bedbug infestations in =
shelters wreak havoc in people's lives .=20

      Never has the emergency been more desperate.

      What you can do.

      At the end of November, the federal housing minister will be =
meeting with his provincial and territories' counterparts. Please let =
your local elected officials on the provincial and federal scene know =
that you want to see some serious action and spending on housing. Phone, =
fax, write, email them or better yet request a meeting to tell them in =
person!=20

      4. Subscribe to this newsletter

      I plan to publish this newsletter regularly. If you receive this =
newsletter directly, then your address is already on our mailing list; =
otherwise, to subscribe or unsubscribe, send a note to =
crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca . For more information on my work including =
this and other editions of my newsletter please visit my web page at =
www.tdrc.net/cathycrowe.htm.=20

      There is no charge for this newsletter.  Please forward it to your =
friends and others who you think may be interested in it. I value your =
feedback and ideas. Please share them with me at ccrowe@sherbourne.on.ca =
or c/o the Sherbourne Health Centre, 365 Bloor Street East, Suite 301, =
Toronto, ON, M4W 3L4.=20

      Cathy

      Photo Credit: Michelle Vella Photography
    =20

=20






   
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<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Cathy Crowe November 2004 Newsletter</TITLE>
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<DIV>----- Original Message ----- </DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">
<DIV style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; font-color: black"><B>From:</B> <A=20
title=3Dcrowenews@sherbourne.on.ca =
href=3D"mailto:crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca">Crowe=20
News</A> </DIV></DIV>
<DIV><SPAN class=3Dlisttx><FONT face=3DArial =
size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<P class=3Dstyle4>&nbsp;</P>
<P class=3Dstyle3>Cathy Crowe Newsletter No. 5, November 2004 </P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=3D10 cellPadding=3D2 width=3D"75%" border=3D0>
  <TBODY>
  <TR>
    <TD>
      <DIV align=3Djustify>
      <P class=3Dstyle2>I've been a street nurse in Toronto for 15 =
years. In the=20
      spring of 2004 I received the Atkinson Economic Justice Award =
which=20
      permits me to pursue, for up to three years, my passions for =
nursing and=20
      working on homelessness and housing issues. In this newsletter I =
hope to=20
      report on my activities, create a link to a broader group of =
individuals=20
      who care about these social issues and encourage critical debate.=20
      <BR><BR>Further information about subscribing to the newsletter is =
found=20
      below.&nbsp; I want to hear from you - about the newsletter, about =
things=20
      that are happening in the homelessness sector (what a sad term!), =
and=20
      about good things which will provide inspiration for all of=20
    us.</P></DIV></TD>
    <TD vAlign=3Dtop><IMG=20
src=3D"http://www.chaddavis.ca/crowe/image001.jpg"></TD></TR>
  <TR>
    <TD colSpan=3D2>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><BR>****<BR><STRONG>In this=20
      newsletter:</STRONG><BR><A href=3D"#1">1. <EM>"How are the Tent =
City people=20
      doing?"</EM></A><BR><A href=3D"#2">2. My meeting with Joe Fontana, =
Minister=20
      of Housing </A><BR><A href=3D"#3">3. National Housing Day - =
November 22=20
      </A><BR><A href=3D"#4">4. </A><A href=3D"#5">Subscribe to This=20
      Newsletter</A><BR>****</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><STRONG><A name=3D1></A>1. "How =
are the Tent=20
      City people doing?"</STRONG><BR></P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>People often ask me how the Tent =
City folks=20
      are doing. I continue to stay connected with a number of the =
former Tent=20
      City residents and I=92m always so happy when I run into one of =
them and=20
      hear how happy they are to have their own place to live, their own =
fridge=20
      to slam, their own toilet to flush! Several are involved in =
housing=20
      activism with the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and have =
joined TDRC=92s=20
      Speakers Bureau and Steering Committee. In fact I=92ve asked one =
of them to=20
      leave his warm apartment on the eve of <STRONG>National Housing=20
      Day</STRONG> to join me sleeping outside at the =93<STRONG>Great =
Sleep=20
      Out</STRONG>=94 in solidarity with other homeless people at =
Toronto=92s City=20
      Hall (more on National Housing Day below!).</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>A report on this historic =
success <A=20
      title=3D"From Tent City to Housing" =
href=3D"http://www.toronto.ca/housing/"=20
      target=3D_blank><U>From Tent City to Housing - An Evaluation of =
the City of=20
      Toronto's Emergency Homelessness Pilot Project</U></A> is now =
posted on=20
      the Shelter, Housing and Support website of the City of Toronto . =
If=20
      you=92re meeting with provincial or federal elected officials this =
is an=20
      excellent resource (with great photos) to prove the point that =
homeless=20
      people want housing, can keep housing and that rent supplements =
are an=20
      immediate means to that end. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><STRONG><A name=3D2></A>2. My =
meeting with Joe=20
      Fontana, Minister of Housing </STRONG></P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>In October I flew to Ottawa with =
Michael=20
      Shapcott, Researcher with the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee =
and=20
      University of Toronto=92s Centre for Urban and Community Studies, =
to meet=20
      with Housing Minister Joe Fontana, who also has responsibility for =
the=20
      federal homelessness strategy. Until this summer, the homelessness =

      minister was Claudette Bradshaw, and the housing file was held by =
a series=20
      of ministers (including Alfonso Gagliano, who is in the papers a =
lot these=20
      days due to the sponsorship scandal). We were joined by Minister =
Fontana=92s=20
      Parliamentary Secretary Judi Longfield, along with the senior =
bureaucrats=20
      from the National Homelessness Secretariat and Canada Mortgage and =
Housing=20
      Corporation, plus several policy advisers.</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Compared to other meetings =
I=92ve had with=20
      federal ministers responsible for housing, Minister Fontana seemed =
to have=20
      a strong grasp on the need for federal investment in =93social=94 =
housing (and=20
      he asked us to use that language as opposed to =93affordable=94 =
housing!). He=20
      expressed a strong belief that everyone deserved a home. The =
Minister=20
      accepted Michael and my invitation to come to Toronto and partake =
in a=20
      tour of our local situation. He is particularly interested in =
looking at=20
      innovative housing programs. Unfortunately, he was not able to =
share with=20
      us any news of additional housing monies in the Spring 2005 =
Budget.</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Well Minister Fontana came to =
town last week=20
      (November 5) but I didn=92t seem him. He did a bit of spending =96 =
just a bit.=20
      The federal and Ontario governments announced $8.7 million for 325 =

      affordable housing units in a joint announcement. This, along with =
the=20
      estimated $10 million that has already been announced, means that =
the=20
      federal and provincial governments have committed about 2.5% of =
the $732=20
      million that they have promised over the past three years for new=20
      affordable housing in Ontario. Between 84 and 170 of the 325 new =
homes=20
      announced today will be geared to low-income people. <STRONG>None =
are in=20
      Toronto</STRONG>.<BR><BR>The announcement of an additional $8.7 =
million in=20
      federal and provincial affordable housing spending for 325 units =
brings to=20
      an estimated $19 million the total housing spending in the =
province over=20
      the past three years. In 2001, the federal government promised to =
spend=20
      $244.1 million on new affordable housing in Ontario over five =
years. In=20
      2003, the federal government added $122 million. The province =
agreed to=20
      match that funding.<BR><BR>During the 2003 provincial election, =
the=20
      =93Strong Communities=94 platform of the McGuinty Liberals stated: =
=93We will=20
      match federal support to create almost 20,000 new housing units =
for needy=20
      Ontario families.=94</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><STRONG>Well, where=92s the =
money?=20
      </STRONG><STRONG>All the more reason to keep reading.</STRONG> =
</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><STRONG><A name=3D3></A>3.&nbsp; =
Now it's time=20
      to talk about National Housing Day - November 22 =
</STRONG><BR><BR>On=20
      October 8, 1998 the Toronto Star headline read: =93Plight of the =
homeless a=20
      national disaster.=94 That morning the Toronto Disaster Relief =
Committee=20
      issued a call for emergency relief dollars and for the 1% solution =
=96 a=20
      national housing programme.</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Each year we mark November 22 as =
National=20
      Housing Day. This is the day in 1998 when the Big City Mayors=92 =
Caucus of=20
      the Federation of Canadian Municipalities endorsed the Toronto =
Disaster=20
      Relief Committee=92s declaration that homelessness was a national =
disaster.=20
      A number of communities are holding events on or near to this day =
and they=20
      are noted on the web site of TDRC <A href=3D"http://www.tdrc.net/" =

      target=3D_blank>www.tdrc.net</A>.</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>It=92s worth looking at the 1998 =

      declaration:</P>
      <P align=3Dcenter><SPAN =
class=3Dstyle4><STRONG></STRONG><STRONG>The State of=20
      Emergency</STRONG><STRONG> Declaration </STRONG></SPAN></P>
      <P class=3Dstyle4 align=3Djustify>=93We call on all levels of =
government to=20
      declare homelessness a national disaster requiring emergency =
humanitarian=20
      relief. We urge that they immediately develop and implement a =
National=20
      Homelessness Relief and Prevention Strategy using disaster relief =
funds=20
      both to provide the homeless with immediate health protection and =
housing=20
      and to prevent further homelessness. Canada has signed the =
International=20
      Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights guaranteeing =
everyone=92s=20
      right to "an adequate standard of living=85 including adequate =
food,=20
      clothing and housing." Homeless people have no decent standard of =
living;=20
      our governments are violating these Human Rights. &nbsp;Despite =
Canada =92s=20
      reputation for providing relief to people made temporarily =
homeless by=20
      natural disasters, our governments are unwilling to help the =
scores of=20
      thousands of people in Canada condemned to homelessness. Morally,=20
      economically, socially, and legally, we cannot allow homelessness =
to=20
      become "normal" in Canadian life. Inaction betrays many thousands =
of us to=20
      a miserable existence and harms our society for years to come.=94 =
&nbsp;=20
      (available at www.tdrc.net) </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2><STRONG>We continue to wait, impatiently, for a =
political=20
      solution, a fully funded national housing programme. In the =
meantime,=20
      homeless deaths increase, tuberculosis continues to erupt =96 now =
infecting=20
      workers, and new emerging threats such as bedbug infestations in =
shelters=20
      wreak havoc in people=92s lives</STRONG> . </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2>Never has the emergency been more desperate.</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2><STRONG>What you can do=85</STRONG></P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2>At the end of November, the federal housing =
minister will=20
      be meeting with his provincial and territories=92 counterparts. =
Please let=20
      your local elected officials on the provincial and federal scene =
know that=20
      you want to see some serious action and spending on housing. =
Phone, fax,=20
      write, email them or better yet request a meeting to tell them in =
person!=20
      </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><STRONG><A name=3D5></A>4. =
Subscribe to this=20
      newsletter</STRONG><BR><BR><FONT face=3D"Book Antiqua" size=3D3>I =
plan to=20
      publish this newsletter regularly. If you receive this newsletter=20
      directly, then your address is already on our mailing list;=20
      otherwi</FONT>se, to subscribe or unsubscribe, send a note to <A=20
      =
href=3D"mailto:crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca">crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca =
</A>.=20
      For more information on my work including this and other editions =
of my=20
      newsletter please visit my web page at <A=20
      href=3D"http://www.tdrc.net/cathycrowe.htm"=20
      target=3D_blank>www.tdrc.net/cathycrowe.htm</A></F ont>.=20
      <P align=3Djustify><SPAN class=3Dstyle2>There is no charge for =
this=20
      newsletter.&nbsp; Please forward it to your friends and others who =
you=20
      think may be interested in it. I value your feedback and ideas. =
Please=20
      share them with me at <A=20
      =
href=3D"mailto:ccrowe@sherbourne.on.ca">ccrowe@sherbourne.on.ca</A> or =
c/o=20
      the Sherbourne Health Centre, 365 Bloor Street East, Suite 301, =
Toronto,=20
      ON, M4W 3L4. </SPAN></P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Cathy</P>
      <P align=3Djustify><SPAN class=3Dstyle2>Photo Credit: Michelle =
Vella=20
      Photography</SPAN></P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<P class=3Dstyle1> </P>
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