Dying for a Home

Dying for a Home

Homeless Activists Speak Out

By Cathy Crowe


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Cathy Crowe always wanted to be a nurse but she never planned to be a street nurse–a title she continues to use to evoke the horror of homelessness in a rich country like Canada. In Dying for a Home Crowe brings us the voices of ten homeless activists advocating for change. The word homeless conjures many stereotypes, but rarely does it suggest bravery, courage, charisma, or intelligence, qualities demonstrated by each of these determined individuals.

The contents of Crowe’s nursing bag reveal the hard truth of her specialty. Her vitamins will not prevent the white plague of tuberculosis from taking another life. The duct tape to fix a cardboard shelter, or the bus ticket to get an elderly man to a hot air grate, will not ensure a peaceful night of safety and sleep. Crowe’s experience has taught her that the only thing homeless people have in common is being de-housed and forced to live in conditions of poverty. It is this first-hand experience with the disgrace of homelessness that turned her into a housing advocate and introduced her to the ten contributors to Dying for a Home.


Read this book not only for the fascinating personal stories of a group of determined activists, but also for the political lessons on building solidarity, organizing coalitions, and mobilizing people against the neoliberal agenda.

– Labour/Le Travail


Prologue A Word from Cathy
Chapter 1 Cathy Crowe, Street Nurse
Chapter 2 Melvin Tipping, Expert Witness
Chapter 3 Dri, Urban Legend
Chapter 4 Nancy Baker, Witness to All
Chapter 5 Marty Lang, Tent City Leader
Chapter 6 Brian Boyd, The Boy Next Door
Chapter 7 The Colonel, Town Crier
Chapter 8 James Kagoshima, Wise Guide
Chapter 9 Kevin Clarke, Street Politician
Chapter 10 Bonnie and Kerre Briggs, Talented Duo
Putting Words Into Action
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