A New Way to Fight Homelessness
Were you on Yonge St. between Lakeshore and Bloor or near Queen’s Park on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006? If you were you saw an unusual sight — a line of cars, at least 25, along with a couple of buses, all decorated with signs against poverty and homelessness. It was the official National Housing Day Car Rally. And Sisters Jacqueline de Verteuil, Pat Boucher and Jean Leahy participated.
On Nov. 22, 1998 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities endorsed the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee’s declaration that “Homelessness is a National Disaster.” The TDRC continues to provide advocacy on housing and homelessness issues. They have called for emergency relief funds and the “One Percent Solution” which calls for all levels of government to spend an additional 1 per cent of their overall budgets on social housing.
The car rally, a form of protest open to all including seniors, children and persons with disabilities, was sponsored by the TDRC and endorsed by many groups including the Canadian Autoworkers Union, Housing Action Now and Ryerson students who are studying “Homelessness in Canadian Society.” Twenty-five cars, along with buses which allowed the homeless to participate, were decked out with eye-catching signs. They followed a route which began on the Lakeshore, moved up Yonge St. as far as Bloor and finished with several circuits of Queen’s Park Crescent. Their intent was to raise awareness and to push for implementation of the One Percent Solution and for renewal and expansion of federal homeless funding programs.
Oh, and guess who won the prize for the best-decorated car? Sisters Jacqueline de Verteuil, Pat Boucher and Jean Leahy, that’s who!
By Mary Buckley CSJ