About

Our Vision

A North Durham where no person experiences housing instability.

Our Mission

To provide a spectrum of housing supports for those who are at risk or in crisis within the communities of North Durham.

Our Values

Respect • Integrity • Inclusivity • Collaboration • Confidentiality • Privacy • Transparency • Self-Determination

North House was created in June of 2004, when people saw a need in their community. They were starting to see that their neighbours and friends were struggling to make ends meet. Some were under-housed, others couldn’t pay their bills and some had nowhere to live. Together, as a community, it was decided to create a resource that could help with some of those problems. And that, was the genesis of North House.

Now that they had the idea, and the people willing to help, they needed a physical space to work. It was then that St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Beaverton donated the use of their office space to conduct meetings and give the formal structure the organization needed.

One full-time staff person was hired through the help of a grant, to work with the community and start to build the reputation of the organization.

North House was fortunate to receive funds from the government to purchase a house, which would be used for transitional housing for people in the community. The house had four apartments and a small room in the rear which was used as the office.

Today, 16 years later, we still deliver on the very idea of helping those in our community who need it. We connect them to resources and help them through the most trying times in their lives.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Ron Houston

Ron Houston

Chair
(he/him)

Ron brings a proven track record for leading teams to co-create next generation capabilities and execute strategic IT initiatives to deliver business value. Ron has held numerous management positions in the Information Technology area with a primary focus on people leadership, team building and leading software development for loyalty solutions. Ron lives in nearby Sunderland, with his wife Kerri-Anne, children Courtney and Aidan as well as three cats and a dog.

Dave Kushner

Dave Kushner

BSc, CPA, CGA
Secretary/Treasurer
(he/him)

Dave is a Certified Professional Accountant with extensive experience in financial management, bookkeeping/accounting, personal and corporate income tax preparation, risk management, compliance, and internal auditing. Currently Dave is a staff accountant at Kreston GTA. Dave also runs a part-time, side business specializing in tax preparation, accounting and bookkeeping services, and small business administration.

Joe Ottenhof

Joe Ottenhof

Vice Chair
(he/him)

Joe Ottenhof is the founder and recently retired President, of Beckhoff Automation Ltd. An Engineering Technology graduate of St. Lawrence College (1975) in Kingston ON, Joe has spent his career in the area of Technology and specifically Automation Technology. He remains a member of the Board of Directors of Beckhoff Automation Ltd and retains a keen interest in all things “technology” related. Joe is a long time resident of Uxbridge, having raised three, now adult, children in this community. He is married to Carol for 41 years and spends his time running, playing squash and keeping his own house from falling down and watching his grandchildren grow.

Brankica Jakovlevski

Director
(she/her)

Brankica is a resident of Uxbridge since September 2020. She currently serves as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant at a cross-border law firm in Toronto. At the same time, she is working towards the completion of her Juris Doctor degree from the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Brankica obtained her graduate degree (Immigration and Settlement Studies) in 2015, and she is engaged in the program’s alumni association as a member of the Events and Project Management Committee.
In addition to her many years of legal work experience, Brankica brings forward prior board experience, as she spent five (5) years serving as the Secretary on a Condominium Board in Ajax, Ontario (2015-2020). Brankica is fluent in the English and Macedonian languages.
Brankica enjoys taking part in (and attending) local events, and is eager to support housing initiatives through North House for northern Durham communities.

Michelle Lee

Director
(she/her)

Michelle is a CPA, CA whose professional career included working with not-for-profit organizations and registered charities to navigate their operational, financial, and governance needs. Since moving to Uxbridge, she has become increasingly engaged in the town’s community initiatives and has dedicated her time to understanding and addressing the needs of its residents. Michelle is deeply committed to making her community a more equitable, accessible, and sustainable place for all.

Gillian Lock

Director
(she/her)

Gill has been a proud member of the Durham Regional Police since 1998. She holds the rank of Staff Sergeant and works in the Professional Standards branch which investigates public and internal complaints against police officers. Gill has a passion for serving the people in her community. Gill has lived in Port Perry since 2001. She is a mother, outdoor enthusiast, equestrian and dog lover. She is actively involved in many organizations including as a member of the Durham Children’s Aid Board of Directors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western University and a Degree in Policing from Durham College.

Meet Our Team

Mona Emond

CAE, CMS
Executive Director
(she/her)

Mona currently holds a Certified Association Executive designation from the Canadian Society of Association Executives and a Certified Marketing Specialist designation from the Canadian Marketing Association. Mona has held senior leadership positions in the profit, not-for-profit and association sectors for over 20+ years. She uses her 20+ years of driving change to make a difference in the world around her. She does that through a transparent leadership approach that empowers her team to deliver results, which transform lives.

Stephanie Pattison

B.A.
Assistant Manager, Housing Services
(she/her)

Stephanie is a recent graduate from Trent University with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has a passion for advocating for the community and offering support to those who need. Stephanie has previously held the role of a Program Coordinator at The Back Door Mission, helping the vulnerable population with a variety of needs through different social services. Stephanie is very excited to continue to advocate on behalf of the north Durham community.

Hillary Griffen

Office Coordinator
(she/her)

Hillary received a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and has since worked in a variety of roles before finding her niche in the non-profit community supports sector. Growing up in north Durham, Hillary is passionate about the people in these communities having access to the resources they require. She brings enthusiasm and creativity to all that she does. Hillary is looking forward to supporting the North House team in meeting and exceeding their goals.

Hannah Eades

RSW
Housing Support Specialist
(she/her)

Hannah is a registered social worker through the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University. As a placement student she worked in a youth shelter in South Durham where she worked with vulnerable youth facing homelessness. Hannah has previously held a role in schools working with children and youth of diverse needs. She is passionate about working with clients to ensure that they are included in decisions and their voices are heard. Hannah is looking forward to assisting the communities of north Durham with their housing needs.

Megan Coney

SW
Housing Support Specialist
(she/her)

Megan is a recent graduate from George Brown College, with her diploma in Social Work. Megan completed her placement with the YMCA Academy downtown Toronto, supporting high school students with diverse needs. As a Durham Region resident, she is passionate about advocating for the rights and well-being of those in her community. Helping make a positive change in the community is what drives her to pursue this field of work. Megan is excited to build trusting relationships through a client-centred approach with her community.

Norma Mann

Landlord Engagement Specialist
(she/her)

Norma comes to us with over 25 years experience in the corporate world, where she provided support to her team members. She is looking forward to using the skills she has acquired over the years to help with housing issues in north Durham. As a long time resident of north Durham, Norma has seen first-hand the challenges of living in rural areas and is passionate about helping to make a difference.

Joanna St Croix

Housing First Caseworker
(she/her)

Joanna received her Community & Justice Services diploma from Fleming College and a post-graduate certificate in Victimology from Durham College. Since completing post-secondary, Joanna has dedicated her time to working with vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness and housing instability. Joanna is very passionate about advocating for communities in need, and is looking forward to utilizing her skill set in housing to support the people in north Durham.

Amanda Walsh

Housing Support, Student Placement
(she/her)

Amanda is a Bachelor of Social Work at Trent University and is excited to complete her student placement at North House. She also holds a Social Service Worker diploma from Durham College and is an active alumni on research and program advisory committees that aim to challenge barriers faced by those with low-income and inform future practitioners. Amanda brings a unique combination of personal and professional experience and a passion for social justice, advocacy, and self-determination. Amanda looks forward to supporting the North House team and community members with creative and critical thinking and anti-oppressive practice.

Jordan Bolzon

MSW, RSW
Housing First Caseworker
(they/them)

Jordan received their Bachelor of Social Work from Lakehead University and completed their Master of Social Work from the University of British Columbia. Jordan grew up in north Durham and has always advocated for the community. They have done work in Simcoe County with a youth shelter bringing a passion for helping those who are vulnerable. Jordan offers a voice to people who otherwise may not be heard and ensures they are included in the decision-making process. Jordan is excited to be able to continue to give back to their community.

Jessica Barbuto

Jessica Barbuto

BSW, RSW
Manager, Housing Services
(she/her)

Jessica is a registered social worker through the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She is a graduate of York University’s critical social work honours program that primarily focused on anti-oppressive practice, equality and social justice. Previously, Jessica pursued a position working with at-risk young pregnant women that come from diverse social backgrounds.  Jessica is passionate about making a difference in the lives of her clients, and giving them the voice they deserve. Jessica is excited to continue making a meaningful contribution within the community.

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