Cathy Crowe: A Final Blackberry Message to Jack August 29, 2011Posted by rogerhollander in Canada, Housing/Homelessness.
Tags: aids funding, Canada, canada government, canadian municipalities, cathy crowe, health and homelesness, homelessness, housing, Jack Layton, national disaster, roger hollander, street nurse, street nursing, tdrc, toronto, toronto government, toronto homelessness
campaign to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities resulting in the Big City
Mayors’ Caucus endorsement that homelessness was a national disaster. This
fuelled a national movement which included a new federal program to tackle
homelessness, but unfortunately not housing.Jack was always giving away his 1% button and would ask me for a new one each time I saw him. This past week
Beric German and I ensured a 1% button was placed among the flowers both at his
constituency office and Nathan Phillips Square.The day after he died, thinking of him, I automatically reached for my blackberry and paused. But I did
send this final email to him. I want to share it with you. Cathy
Hi Jack, just doing what I would normally do in a time like this. Emailing you. You
always replied to me within minutes. You hooked me on a blackberry!
I know you won’t get this but I also know you will get this.
Thanks for always being there for me and for people who are homeless, for all the good
fights, many of which we won thanks to your help: Homelessness declared a
national disaster, many new shelters opened, new shelter standards, the Tent
City win for housing (and they love you to this day), the fight for AIDs
funding, the closing of the Commissioner St. incinerator. I could go on and on.
You made so clear in 1987, in your public inquiry into health and
homelessness, how I should direct my career in this bizarre but necessary
profession called street nursing.
One of the biggest honours in my life was to write the intro to your book on homelessness.
Years later you kept asking me to run for office. I thought you were crazy and then you and
Olivia convinced me.
You should feel confident and strong in your legacy
through myself and I believe millions of others who, inspired, challenged and
encouraged will carry on the fight. As you so eloquently put it “Love is better
than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us
be loving, hopeful and optimstic. And we’ll change the world.”
Yes we will. Love you,
Your friend, Cathy Crowe
Sent from my BlackBerry
device on the Rogers Wireless Network, August 29, 2011
who have not seen the documentary ‘Shelter from the Storm’ directed and produced
by Michael Connolly Jack is in it and it is very powerful. It originally aired
on CBC. It is now viewable on line at Hot Docs:
you like to order your personal copy of the DVD email me at