Who We Are

Steering Committee

    AJ Withers is a longtime anti-poverty and disability justice activist. They are a co-founder of FactcheckToronto.ca and author of several books including A Violent History of Benevolence: Interlocking Oppression in the Moral Economies of Social Working and Fight to Win: Inside Poor Peoples’ Organizing (forthcoming).

           Bob Rose, a former steering committee member – Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and co-founder of the Toronto Drop-in Network.  Activist activities focus:  mental health systems change and recovery oriented practices linked to the building of supportive housing, social justice equity and quality of life opportunity

Greg Cook (he/him) is a white settler who has lived most of his adult life on the Dish With One Spoon Territory: the lands of the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee.
Greg has been a drop-in and outreach worker in downtown Toronto for almost 14 years, and at Sanctuary since 2009. He currently volunteers for the Toronto Homeless Memorial and was part of a group of activists who agitated for a coroner’s inquest into the death of Grant Faulkner. He has worked on two documentaries: Bursting at the Seams about the housing crisis and What World Do You Live In about police brutality. To relax, Greg walks downtown streets and quiet wooded trails.

Rafi Aaron is the spokesperson for the Interfaith Coalition to Fight Homelessness ICFH), which is dedicated to outreach and advocacy for those experiencing homelessness and hunger. He has volunteered at the Beth Sholom/Beth Tzedec Out of the Cold Shelter for thirteen years, serving as its Co-chair for the last seven years. Rafi is the co-coordinator of the Out of the Cold Meal Program at Saint Luke’s United Church.

       Steve Meagher works as Project Director at the Centre for Refugee Children, an initiative providing legal and settlement support to refugee and migrant children in Ontario. Previously, he managed an emergency shelter for refugee families in Toronto and served as co-chair of the family sector table with the Toronto Shelter Network.

 Tommy Taylor (he/him) is a Frontline Community & Shelter Worker and Activist. He has worked frontlines in shelters, drop-ins, respites, shelter-hotels, the OOTC program, street/encampment outreach (just about every homelessness service provided in Toronto) and currently sits on the steering committees of both Health Providers Against Poverty (HPAP) and the Shelter & Housing Justice Network (SHJN).



           Beric German is a long-time advocate on homelessness and housing. He has pioneered numerous coalitions including the Toronto Coalition Against Homelessness, Recession Relief Committee, Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and SHJN. He was a key lead in the advocacy work at Toronto’s Tent City that led to a rent supplement housing program win for all the residents.

       Cathy Crowe is a long-time street nurse, filmmaker and author on subjects related to homelessness and housing. She has co-founded numerous advocacy coalitions over the years including Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and SHJN. She is currently a Public Affiliate in Ryerson’s Department of Politics and Public Administration.

David Hulchanski is a professor of housing and community development at the University of Toronto who has focussed on mass ‘houselessness’ and Canada’s dehousing processes and policies since the 1980s. He is a co-founder of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and SHJN.