[Hpn] She ensures the homeless are remembered

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sun, 13 Apr 2008 12:09:18 -0400


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http://www.thestar.com/article/412564

She ensures the homeless are remembered
Apr 12, 2008=20

Nancy J. White=20
Living Reporter

Who: Bonnie Briggs, 54.

What: The Homeless Memorial, a plaque and a website with the names of =
the more than 500 street people who have died in this city since 1985. A =
service is held at the memorial every month.=20

When: Briggs is a social activist who became involved with housing =
matters in 1987. She started working on The Homeless Memorial in 1996.

Where: Toronto's mean streets. The plaque is at The Church of the Holy =
Trinity, 10 Trinity Square, by the Eaton Centre.=20

Why: Because she knows what it's like. Briggs and her husband, Kerre, =
were homeless for about two years, starting in 1987. The homeless are =
part of the family of human beings and deserve to be remembered when =
they die, she says, explaining the thinking behind the memorial.=20

How: After Briggs and her husband got off the streets, she studied =
community work at George Brown College and developed her idea for the =
memorial, which she originally hoped it would be at City Hall. These =
days, she maintains The Homeless Memorial website, writes poetry about =
social issues, is active with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and =
is on the steering board of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, which =
advocates for the homeless.=20

Quote: "People have it backwards about the homeless. They think because =
you're a drunk or on drugs you're on the street. But it's the street =
that drives you to it. You drink or do drugs to forget the pain of being =
there."

Success so far: The plaque remembering the homeless who died and the =
monthly service, attended by anywhere from 20 to 50 people. And the many =
ways Briggs has contributed to a growing awareness of the homeless.=20

Learn more: The Homeless Memorial website is geocities.com/hommem. =
Briggs' home page is geoc ities.com/ronniebca. The Toronto Disaster =
Relief Committee site is tdrc.net. Briggs and her husband are the =
subject of a chapter in the book Dying for a Home by street nurse and =
activist Cathy Crowe.

Do you know a "local hero"? Email

living@thestar.ca with the name of your nominee and a brief description. =
Please put "hero" in the subject line.






















William Charles Tinker,Sr.
Founded 11-28-99
New Hampshire Homeless
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com

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<DIV class=3DarticleToolsBottom><SPAN style=3D"TEXT-TRANSFORM: =
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2008</SPAN> </DIV>
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J. White</SPAN> <BR><!-- CREDIT 1--><SPAN=20
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_=20
style=3D"TEXT-TRANSFORM: uppercase">Living Reporter</SPAN><BR><!-- =
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<P>Who: Bonnie Briggs, 54.</P>
<P>What: The Homeless Memorial, a plaque and a website with the names of =
the=20
more than 500 street people who have died in this city since 1985. A =
service is=20
held at the memorial every month. </P>
<P>When: Briggs is a social activist who became involved with housing =
matters in=20
1987. She started working on The Homeless Memorial in 1996.</P>
<P>Where: Toronto's mean streets. The plaque is at The Church of the =
Holy=20
Trinity, 10 Trinity Square, by the Eaton Centre. </P>
<P>Why: Because she knows what it's like. Briggs and her husband, Kerre, =
were=20
homeless for about two years, starting in 1987. The homeless are part of =
the=20
family of human beings and deserve to be remembered when they die, she =
says,=20
explaining the thinking behind the memorial. </P>
<P>How: After Briggs and her husband got off the streets, she studied =
community=20
work at George Brown College and developed her idea for the memorial, =
which she=20
originally hoped it would be at City Hall. These days, she maintains The =

Homeless Memorial website, writes poetry about social issues, is active =
with the=20
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and is on the steering board of the =
Toronto=20
Disaster Relief Committee, which advocates for the homeless. </P>
<P>Quote: "People have it backwards about the homeless. They think =
because=20
you're a drunk or on drugs you're on the street. But it's the street =
that drives=20
you to it. You drink or do drugs to forget the pain of being there."</P>
<P>Success so far: The plaque remembering the homeless who died and the =
monthly=20
service, attended by anywhere from 20 to 50 people. And the many ways =
Briggs has=20
contributed to a growing awareness of the homeless. </P>
<P>Learn more: The Homeless Memorial website is geocities.com/hommem. =
Briggs'=20
home page is geoc ities.com/ronniebca. The Toronto Disaster Relief =
Committee=20
site is tdrc.net. Briggs and her husband are the subject of a chapter in =
the=20
book <I>Dying for a Home </I>by street nurse and activist Cathy =
Crowe.</P>
<P><EM>Do you know a "local hero"? Email</EM></P>
<P><A =
href=3D"mailto:living@thestar.ca"><EM>living@thestar.ca</EM></A><EM> =
with=20
the name of your nominee and a brief description. Please put "hero" in =
the=20
subject line.</EM></P>
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<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker,Sr.<BR>Founded=20
11-28-99<BR>New Hampshire Homeless<BR>25 Granite =
Street<BR>Northfield,N.H.=20
03276-1640 USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">newhampshirehom=
eless-subscribe@topica.com</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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