Restorative Justice Housing Ontario (RJHO) began as the result of a chance meeting at a restorative justice roundtable. During a session, several of us started talking about how people returning from prison require three critical things to succeed: a safe place to live, something useful to do and a supportive community.
Now, RJHO is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and is currently seeking charitable status from Revenue Canada.
Our board includes people with a strong background in working with former prisoners after their release from prison as well as individuals with expertise in setting up and operating various forms of supportive housing.
Paul Dowling’s working life has focused on developing solutions to homelessness for people marginalized by poverty and disability. He worked for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Ontario Ministry of Housing and Homes First Society (providing housing for people who have experienced homelessness). Paul has consulted to housing providers and municipal governments on policy and organization. He is Animator for Social Justice at Beach United Church.
Jim Harbell is a lawyer and former partner at Stikeman Elliott and currently a student of Pastoral Studies at the University of Toronto. Jim was head of the Project Development and Real Estate groups at Stikeman Elliott and personally involved in specialized housing projects for more than three decades. He is active in Friends of Dismas and the Circles of Support and Accountability.
Eileen Henderson is a past Restorative Justice Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee Ontario and Coordinator of Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA: a community-based reintegration program that holds federal inmates, with histories of sexual offending, accountable for the harm they have caused while supporting them in reintegration back to community at the end of their sentences).
Wendy Leaver is a part-time professor at Durham College, School of Justice and Emergency Services in the Victimology Program. She is a retired Detective from the Toronto Police Service, Sex Crimes Unit and has been a volunteer with COSA for over 20 years.
Rev. Harry Nigh
Harry Nigh is the co-developer of Friends of Dismas Fellowship, former community chaplain for Correctional Service of Canada and co-founder of Circles of Support and Accountability
Allan Petrie, CPA, CA is the former Vice Chairman of Kairos Prison Ministries Canada, retired General Manager at CIBC, former board member of Parkdale United Church Foundation, owner operator of a 130-unit apartment building and former Board Chair of Alderwood United Church.
Randi Rahamim is a Managing Director in the Toronto office of Teneo, the global CEO advisory firm. Ms. Rahamim has over 20 years of experience providing strategic communications counsel to organizations. She has also been active in Canadian politics at provincial and municipal levels. Ms. Rahamim has served on several volunteer boards and currently serves on the Committee of the United Jewish Appeal and the Ontario Lung Association. Ms. Rahamim is a frequent media commentator on public affairs.
Michael Van Dusen
Michael Van Dusen is an Anglican deacon, member of the Anglican Diocesan Social Justice and Advocacy Committee, past Chair of Prison Fellowship of Canada, and active in Out of the Cold, COSA and on poverty issues.
David Walsh, MBA is a commercial real estate developer with a strong interest in social justice, non-profit housing and community economic development projects. He has also received the Jane Jacobs Award for his community work.
Mike Walsh is a Catholic deacon, is chair of the Friends of Dismas, former director of Henri Nouwen Society and Executive-Director of the National Catholic Broadcasting Council.