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Street Nurse

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Catalogue Number:  BF0014
Producer:  Bishari Films
Subject:  Canadian Social Issues, Documentary, Family Studies/Home Economics, Guidance, Health, Psychology, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology, Women's Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2002
Running Time:  45:00


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Cathy Crowe is a familiar name. For years as one of Toronto’s 50 or so street nurses, she has visited the habitats of the homeless tending to their blistered feet, infected wounds and often fragile psyches. She helps find night shelter for them when temperatures reach lethally low levels.

That’s the silent, unseen, unheard part of what she does. But it's her passionate advocacy on behalf of the homeless that has made her name familiar. Letters to the Editors, appearances on radio and television, submissions to the United Nations, pleas to various levels of government are just part of her ongoing efforts to get long term, permanent help for those men and women who have fallen through the cracks and found themselves subsisting on society’s margins.

Yet, familiar as her name is, few outside her own circle of intimates know who she really is, or what motivates her. This documentary by Emmy winning filmmaker Shelley Saywell fills in those blanks. In Street Nurse we see a woman, herself a single mother, who is quite simply driven by compassion for the marginalized and hopeless among us – those thousands of people the rest of us see every day on our streets and yet never see.

“truly compelling documentary detailing one woman’s struggle to help the less fortunate… Saywell wove together an incisive, multi-layered cinematic tapestry.” - Arts and Culture, Catholic Times
"a powerful and saddening portrait of Cathy Crowe" - The Globe and Mail


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