30 Donor Stories – Health Without Barriers; Care Without Borders

In November 2014, Street Health got a call from a curious and passionate Toronto Star reporter named Carol Goar. We weren’t sure how Carol became interested in Street Health or the population we serve, but we did recognize a kindred spirit. She came for a visit, met some of our staff and clients, learned about our services and the urgent need for them, then went on to publish an article titled, “Non-judgmental health care for the homeless”.


Goar’s article was an eye-opener for many Torontonians who were unaware of the scale and urgency of homelessness in Toronto. Many of her readers were also unaware that Street Health has been working for 30 years to meet the needs of these often-neglected members of our community. James is one of our donors, touched by Carol Goar’s article, who has been supporting our efforts ever since.

“As much as I am a private person, I do want to help you, so will agree to participate in your 30th anniversary piece. I was not aware of Street Health at all until I read Carol Goar’s column in the Toronto Star. Goar’s passionate description of Street Health’s mission led me to investigate your website to get more information. I was very impressed by the work you do for the homeless and that you concentrate your work in the neighbourhoods where the situation is most dire.

Several factors convinced me to become a monthly contributor. These include your attention to both physical and mental health issues; the on-site nursing programmes; and the emphasis on advocacy for social change to address such issues as poverty and access to primary health care. I have another guiding rule to determine which organizations I give to (which also includes Doctors Without Borders). Most of the money must be spent on activities and not on administration and high salaries for CEOs. Certainly, I would want every worker to make a decent living salary, but I give only to organizations who can demonstrate that high-paid administrators are not taking a chunk of the budget. Street Health certainly fulfills that criterion. Perhaps it is a sop to those of us who are more fortunate and feel helpless to do anything about the homeless, but giving to Street Health makes me feel that I am contributing to a wonderful, compassionate, and, alas, increasingly necessary organization.

Last year, I increased my donation by 50% and would now like to increase it again to mark Street Health’s 30th anniversary.”