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WHO WE ARE

The Full Story

During the eruption of the pandemic, there was a shift in social inequities that highlighted the harms and barriers for underserved folks throughout the city. Street Cats came to fruition in an attempt to bridge the gaps of the stigma and shame leaving so many in the community behind. Street Cats is dedicated to operating from a trauma informed, inclusive, anti-racism, anti-oppressive framework; we are a sex positive, drug positive, anti capitalist organization grounded in principles of mutual aid.

Vision

A caring, inclusive, and safe community that works collaboratively to elevate and enhance the health and well-being of people who use drugs, those who are unhoused or are housing insecure, as well as people involved in sex work or the street economy.

Mission

Street cats YYC is a member-based collective led by people who are current and former drug users working to create sustainable, self-determining communities through advocacy, empowerment, mutual aid and collective community organizing.

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Self-Determination

 

We reject the criminalization of drug users. We believe that people who use drugs have the right to self-determination; we define this freedom as having an ability to govern our own destiny, to control what we put in our bodies, and to create institutions that serve our community.

 

Solidarity

 

We recognize that the forces that maintain our oppression are the same forces that oppress other marginalized groups. We stand in solidarity with all oppressed peoples.

Healing Justice

 

Love is a foundation for community healing. Through relationships of trust, appreciation and respect we can heal the histories of oppression which have torn communities apart. 

Autonomy & Choice

 

All life has value, we oppose all practices and ideologies that devalue human life and agency. This includes opposition to forced or coerced treatment.  We believe that existing in a world free of oppression is a human right.

Values

Community Grounded Leadership

 

We reject hierarchical notions of power and affirm that all community members have the ability to lead, share knowledge and innovate in ways that serve people. We believe in the rights and autonomy of the individual, but reject the ideology of individualism. We recognize that interdependence and solidarity are essential to the work of abolition

 

Sustainability

 

Dedicated to continuously developing and lobbying for policy change to empower folks and remove systemic harms

. Building a shared and inclusive system rooted in community that facilitates education, advocacy, wellbeing, and works to develop foundations to meet community needs. 

 

Education

 

We aim to keep the public informed concerning the social, economic, health and treatment issues related to the use of drugs. Together we challenge stigma, misinformation, disrupt oppressive systems and strengthen our community through education, collective action and participatory research. 

 

Liberation

 

We oppose the unjust harassment, assault, detention & arrest of people who use drugs. We recognize that this requires taking proactive steps to ensure our activities do not unintentionally reproduce the oppression of the dominant system by excluding the needs of drug users, women, black & indigenous people, disabled people, or any other group that is often denied voice in the decisions that impact them. We engage in the ongoing practice of solidarity, and remain open to feedback from all communities we touch. We are part of a community first response working to ensure safety & liberation for everyone in our community. 

 

Power With, Not Power Over

 

We are creating a space where all people can step fully into their power.  We support each other to exercise our power in ways that support the power, visions, and development of one another.  We interrogate and transform relationships where one person’s empowerment relies on the disempowerment, control, or coercion of another.

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