Growing up in New York state foster care from the age of 11, Greg Cruz has dedicated his life to the betterment of those in the community who are struggling, marginalized or oppressed. He has organized toy, school supply and backpack drives for foster children in the Sarasota area. Mayor Willie Shaw has dedicated June 16th as "Stop The Violence Day" in Sarasota in honor of the annual no-cost community cookout he organizes.
From the rights of prisoners and migrant workers, to the LBTQ+ community, to environmental activism, Greg spends his time on the front lines of the struggle for social justice.
Cathy Bryant has spent her life doing what she loves; caring for people. A recipient of three degrees (criminal justice, nursing and psychology), Cathy became involved in rape and domestic violence advocacy in college and has championed victim’s rights for 15 years. She and her husband David have raised three children including a daughter, Danielle, who has a severe and chronic degenerative brain disorder. and needs constant care. In addition to her role at SOP, Cathy publishes books and uses social media to promote authors and several for-profit and non-profit groups, teaches yoga, does tech support for several clients as well as working as Assistant Head Usher at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Theater.
As owner/operator of a pet sitting business, Devon Oppenheimer spends much of her time tending to the everyday needs of animals. Streets of Paradise gives her the opportunity to extend love to her fellow human beings. A graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, Devon has earned her “degrees” in both Golden Rule Adherence and Thrift Store Negotiation. These life skills have prepared her well for her role as Finder-of-Helpful-Things for the people whom Streets of Paradise serves. Amateur photography and writing are two of Devon’s favorite hobbies. She and her husband, Andy, live in Venice, Florida, with their dog, Einstein. The couple’s son, Griffin, is currently away at college.