May 12th: Defend the East Downtown Neighborhood:
Bring Back Street Health Services, Re-Instate Gaetan!
Thursday, May 12th
Allan Gardens (Carleton and Sherbourne)
*FREE BBQ in the PARK!
On Wed. May 12 we will gather in Allan Gardens at 12noon for a
Community BBQ and Rally. We will then march on Street Health and
remind Laura Cowan, Mary McCowan, and Eleanor Lester that they are
accountable to the community and that the needs and demands of this
community will not be ignored. Bring back the services to Street
Health and Re-instate Gaetan at his job in East Downtown Toronto!
The Downtown East-End is experiencing rapid transformation, as are
many poor neighborhoods in Toronto. In this transformation, poor
people and services for poor people are being displaced. It is
important that we defend the need for public services and access to
these services within our neighborhoods; that we confront this process
of displacement. Street Health began as a project by homeless people
and has been an important space in this neighborhood for over 20
years. Gaetan Heroux has been a dedicated and much loved anti-poverty
activist within this neighborhood for over 20 years as well. We need
to send a message loud and clear: Street Health belongs to the
community and NOT to corporate consultants!
Four months ago Street and Neighbourhood Link moved the administration
office of the PAID I.D. Project out of Street Health, where it had
been for the last ten years, and relocated 5 miles away from the
Dundas and Sherbourne neighborhood, where most of the identification
clinics were located. Making people travel five miles to access the
administrative office is cruel and harmful to people who don’t have
the money for TTC tickets needed to get all the way out to Danforth
and Victoria Park.
On December 8, a petition with over 500 names was given to Laura
Cowan, Street Health’s Executive Director, and Eleanor Lester, Chair
of the Street Health Board. The majority of the people who signed the
petition were homeless men and women who had used the I.D. service.
They demanded that the administration office be returned to Street
Health and that Gaetan be reinstated at his job in the downtown core.
On December 29, a dozen people walked for over three hours from Street
Health to Neighbourhood Link and delivered another petition with over
850 names on it to Mary McGowan, the Executive Director of
Neighbourhood Link, again demanding that the administrative office be
returned to Street Health and that Gaetan’s job be reinstated in the
Many times the community has rallied outside of Street Health to voice
our concerns and our demands. Despite these numerous demonstrations,
several public meetings, and two petitions signed by homeless men and
women, community workers, and anti-poverty activists, the people who
run Street Health and Neighbourhood Link continue ignore the demands
of the community.
Defend your neighborhood and services: JOIN EAST DOWNTOWN FIGHTBACK on
May 12th, 12Noon at Allan Gardens Park.
FOR MORE INFO, CONTACT THE DOWNTOWN EAST FIGHTBACK CAMPAIGN