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New appointment marks the next stage of program development for RJHO

July 27, 2022, Toronto

Restorative Justice Housing Ontario (RJHO) announces the hiring of Michelle Joseph as a consultant for the Women’s Program, effective July 5, 2022.

In her role, Ms. Joseph will work alongside the Program Director and assume primary responsibility for the creation, nurture and support of a house for women leaving prison and for their safe and healthy reintegration into community. In these tasks she will work with community-based volunteers. In addition, she will provide support for the Men’s program director.

In making the announcement, Jim Harbell, RJHO’s chair, said, “Michelle comes to the role with a significant academic background and practical community-based experience working particularly with women on the social and economic margins of society. We look forward to having her work with us and anticipate being able to learn from her.”

In accepting the role, Ms. Joseph said, “This position incorporates much that I have learned in my work in health and community services and will focus attention on a particular group of women whom I recognize as having special needs.” She added, “I have been impressed with the vision of RJHO and the people who have volunteered to make it a reality, and look forward to adding a new dimension to the operations.”

Ms. Joseph will report to the RJHO board and work with it to achieve RJHO’s vision and goals.

Ms. Joseph’s role will be part-time, as is the men’s program director. This reflects the financial reality of a not-for-profit organization, but also the fact that RJHO invites people who agree to participate in community. Specific duties might include doing communal maintenance of the home and setting guidelines on living in the home, within a general framework set out by RJHO’s code of conduct.

Restorative Justice Housing Ontario (RJHO) provides safe, stable, affordable and supportive housing as the foundation for former prisoners to become positive and engaged members of the community. RJHO volunteers walk alongside and support former prisoners as life-giving, non- judgmental companions on their journey, leading to safer neighbourhoods and lower rates of re- offence.

Since the spring of 2020 RJHO has opened three houses, providing a social environment that nourishes the well-being of residents and the community. RJHO employs one part-time Program Director, who has been working with the men living in the first three houses.

For more information please contact
Michael Van Dusen