A graduate of York University’s Non-Profit Management and Leadership Program, Maria Crawford also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and an Honours degree in Social Work. She has extensive experience in the shelter sector in Ontario, having worked for more than 31 years in the assaulted women’s shelter system and in the youth homelessness sector.
For the past 20 years, Ms. Crawford was the Executive Director of Eva’s Initiatives. Eva’s operates three unique and award winning youth shelters in Toronto. She has lead the growth and development of that organization from a single shelter to the current three sites, with an expanded portfolio of specialized services for homeless youth. She also developed a highly successful national program, focussed on capacity building, and assisting other communities across Canada in developing effective service delivery models for homeless youth. This national program has recently evolved into an independent Coalition. Eva’s Initiatives has become known for its dynamic approach and its focus on long-term solutions, as well as the development of unique and innovative programs dedicated to helping Toronto’s homeless and at-risk youth lead independent, self-sufficient and productive lives.
During her 46-year career, Claudette has served in many organizations which focus on issues relating to welfare, crime prevention, homelessness, mental health and early childhood. Born and educated in Moncton, New Brunswick, Claudette Bradshaw began her career at the forefront of the community-based, non-profit sector as the Program Director for the Moncton Boys and Girls’ Club. Six years later, she founded and became Executive Director of the Moncton Headstart Early Family Intervention Centre, which designed and ran programs for high risk children and their families.
In 1997, Claudette was elected Member of Parliament for the riding of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, which she represented from for almost a decade. During that period, she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation, Minister Responsible for the Francophonie and then Minister of Labour and was named Federal Coordinator on Homelessness, a position she held for six years. In 2006, she retired from federal politics and returned to the non-profit sector in her home province where she was appointed to the New Brunswick Premier’s Task Force on the State of Community Non-profit Agencies. From 2007 to 2011, she was the Coordinator for the Mental Health Commission of Canada At Home / Chez Soi Housing First research and demonstration project site in Moncton. The smallest of the five At Home/Chez Soi sites, Moncton presented a unique opportunity to study the effectiveness of Housing First within the context of a smaller urban centre and its surrounding rural population.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Old Brewery Mission
Matthew Pearce is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Old Brewery Mission, the largest resource for homeless men in Quebec and for homeless women in Canada.
A graduate of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, the trilingual Mr. Pearce has devoted most of his professional career to not-for-profit causes, including 22 years in the field of international development via service with Canada World Youth, of which he was the President and CEO from 1999 to 2005.
Prior to joining the Old Brewery Mission, Mr. Pearce was the founding president of Kompendia, an organization providing a range of services to the private sector to help promote increased awareness, effectiveness and sustainability of Corporate Responsibility programs.
Reshmeena Lalani CPA, CA (Treasurer, Chair, Audit & Finance Committee)
Reshmeena Lalani, CPA, CA was born in Mumbai, India and moved to Canada in order to pursue university studies. Reshmeena holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Simon Fraser University and a Diploma in Advanced Accounting from the BC Institute of Technology.
Ms. Lalani has accumulated significant experience in the areas of tax compliance and responsible governance by serving terms as Director of Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre Society (BC) and Immigrant Services Society of BC. As part of an international non-profit agency, Ms. Lalani has conducted audits of institutions in developing countries.
Ms. Lalani worked in the Audit and Assurance group of PWC and KPMG prior to taking a tax compliance role with the Government of Canada.
Bryany (Bree) Denning, M.Sc., MSW, has been involved in addressing homelessness in Yellowknife since joining the Board of Directors of the Yellowknife Women’s Society in 2008. She served as Executive Director from 2016-2020, and in that role had the opportunity to help create the first Housing First program in the Northwest Territories, as well as introducing Street Outreach services and a residential managed alcohol program.
Executive Director, Centre for Northern Families
Arlene Hache is the Executive Director of the Centre for Northern Families, a non-profit organization that offers a broad range of services that support marginalized women and their families. Ms. Hache is well known across the North as an advocate of social change and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2009 for her work. She is a founding partner in the development of therapeutic programs and in-home family support services designed to support families recovering from trauma related to colonization and ongoing violence. Ms. Hache has spearheaded or participated in several research initiatives that have been published.
Ms. Hache is a member of territorial and national organizations focused on strengthening Indigenous communities. She is a member of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)– Network Action Team on Prevention from a Women’s Health Determinants Perspective. She is also a member of a committee focused on improving treatment options for First Nations and Inuit women at risk of having a child with FASD and on identifying the social services needs of Inuit children spearheaded by the Inuit Tuttarvigat of National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO).
Executive Director, The John Howard Society of Canada
Catherine Latimer has been the Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Canada since 2011. Previously, Ms. Latimer was a policy lawyer for the federal government providing analysis and policy advice for the Departments of the Solicitor General, the Privy Council Office, and Justice and had a lead responsibility in the development of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Her law degree is from Queen’s University, Kingston and her Masters in Criminology is from Cambridge University. She is a Broadbent Fellow and is the current President of the National Associations Active in Criminal Justice.
Executive Director, End Homelessness St. John’s
Doug is the Executive Director of End Homelessness St. John’s, a system planning entity leading the development and implementation of the St. John’s Community Plan to End Homelessness. A systems-based thinker with an entrepreneurial appetite for social change, Doug is committed to serving the most vulnerable neighbours in our community.
Prior to joining End Homelessness St. John’s, Doug spent over 12 years in Ottawa where he led innovative and nationally recognized social enterprises and social finance programs through significant periods of growth.
He holds an MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University, a MPhil in Policy Studies from the University of New Brunswick and a BA in Political Studies and English from Bishop’s University.
President, Ajungi Group
Madeleine Redfern, LLB, was born in Iqaluit, Nunavut (formerly, Frobisher Bay, NWT). Madeleine has a strong commitment to her community, and she strives to be accessible, responsive and accountable.
Madeleine has 30 years of experience working in business and governance, on issues related to economic development, housing, education, employment and training, justice, community services, early childhood development, and health care. She is a graduate of the Akitsiraq law school with a law degree from the University of Victoria. After graduating, she worked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Madam Justice Charron. Madeleine is a member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Consortium, Arctic360, Trudeau Foundation, President of the Ajungi Group, Nuvjuaq, Northern Robotics and CEO of the CanArctic Inuit Networks.
Madeleine took a lead in helping Uquutaq, Iqaluit’s only men shelter, in securing $8M to buy 2 buildings for a new shelter and transition housing, offices, programming space and 11 apartments of which 5 are designated affordable housing. Madeleine is currently working with YWCA Agvik which runs the emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence and homeless shelter to acquire new buildings for transition/transformative housing and space for COVID response.
Tim Richter (Ex-Officio)
President & CEO, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
Tim Richter is the Founder, President & CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH). The CAEH leads a national movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end homelessness in Canada.
Under his leadership, the CAEH has: helped shape federal, provincial and local homelessness action and policy including the implementation of Housing First; hosted four highly successful National Conferences on Ending Homelessness; co-authored three State of Homelessness in Canada reports in 2013, 2014 and 2016; launched Funders Together to End Homelessness Canada as an affiliate network of Funders Together to End Homelessness from the United States; launched a national Training and Technical Assistance program as a mission based, non-profit training and technical assistance program to provide on the ground training and support to communities and front line workers working to end homelessness; launched the 20,000 Homes Campaign – a national movement of communities working together to house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people; and, supported the creation of the Institute of Global Homelessness
Prior to joining the CAEH, Tim was President & CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation charged with leading the implementation of Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness – the first plan of its kind in Canada.
In the first four years of Calgary’s 10 Year Plan more than 4,000 homeless men, women and children were housed, 3,582 units of affordable housing were funded, and homelessness went down for the first time in 20 years of counting.
Tim received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History as well as a Bachelor of Applied Communications. He lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and three children.
P.E. Trudeau and Vanier Scholar, Governor General Silver Medalist, Author, Ph.D Candidate
Jesse Thistle is Cree-Metis on his mother’s side and Scottish and Algonquin on his father’s side. Jesse is a P.E. Trudeau and Vanier Scholar, as well as a Governor General Silver Medalist. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in History and is an Assistant Professor, both at York University, in the Department of Equity and Disabilities, where he teaches Metis Studies. Jesse was the Resident Scholar of Indigenous Homelessness at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness where he drafted the National Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada. His historical research has been published in numerous academic journals, book chapters, and featured on CBC Ideas, CBC Campus, and Unreserved. His most recent work is a memoir published by Simon and Schuster entitled From the Ashes, release date August 6, 2019, where he details his life story from childhood to his rise from homelessness to become one the country’s leading doctoral scholars. His book is available here.
Chief Administrative Officer, Kenora District Services Board
Henry is a hands-on leader with thirteen years of expertise in the Municipal world, with over five years as the Treasurer and Director for Finance for the Municipality of Sioux Lookout. Henry has been Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) since November 2014. Henry has a proven record of managing a diverse range of teams, developing, and implementing policies, establishing internal controls, and engaging staff to achieve ambitious strategic priorities.