Poverty is more than the absence of money. Poverty is a repetitive cycle of inadequate resources including money, social network and career opportunities. A rhythm of lacking that is handed down from one generation to the next. Home Suite Hope’s aim is to break this cycle of poverty for single parents and their children.
Home Suite Hope unites a network of vital support services for our families on their journey from poverty to stability.
Lives permanently changed for the better.
Executive DirectorSara Cumming
Director of DevelopmentKrystal Valencia
Program ManagerCatherine Lucasan
Case Manager and Donation CoordinatorNikkian Hanson
Case ManagerLeah Burton
Program CoordinatorSarah Gillen
Administrative AssistantAngela Blackburn
Volunteer CoordinatorKinda Jazeh
Sara Cumming, PhD. Executive Director
Sara brings an abundance of life experience and two decades of research on lone mothers, social policy and precarious employment to her position as the Executive Director at Home Suite Hope. Growing up in a low-income, single mother-led household, and then raising her own children as a single mother, Sara understands the importance of a hand up and being connected to resources within the community. Through this support, Sara was able to pursue school, complete a PhD in Sociology from the University of Waterloo, and ultimately change the trajectory of her children’s lives – breaking her cycle of poverty. Sara brings this first hand knowledge and experience of the plight of marginalized low-income families to all programming at Home Suite Hope. In addition, as a Professor of Sociology at Sheridan College, Sara has spent her career arguing that complex social issues require multifaceted and innovative approaches to produce long-term solutions. She is thrilled to be part of Home Suite Hope as it epitomizes a complex wraparound, hand-up approach to stop generational poverty in its tracks.
Krystal brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the charitable sector to her role as the Director of Development at Home Suite Hope. Her experiences range from working in Parliament and the United Nations Association in Canada to fundraising and event planning for a number of smaller nonprofits. Krystal is recognized as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), is Blackbaud Certified as a Raiser’s Edge professional (bCFE-Pro), and is working towards achieving the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) accreditation. In addition to her role at Home Suite Hope, Krystal serves as the Curator of TEDxOttawa. At Home Suite Hope, Krystal is responsible for fundraising, special events, and donor stewardship to ensure that their support can make the biggest impact on the lives of our single-parent families.
For information on Sponsorships, Monetary Donations and Events, please contact Krystal at [email protected]<!–
Catherine Lucasan, RSW Program Manager
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Sociology from Ryerson University and is a Registered Social Worker of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers. Catherine joined Home Suite Hope in 2016 and has been involved with the growth of the organization through her multiple roles – including administration, program development, part-time Caseworker, student intern supervisor, and office manager. Catherine plays a vital role in Home Suite Hope programming; ultimately responsible for all program delivery, including coordinating internal and external program supports such as Life Skills and Professional Development Day workshops, implementing program processes, and handling program community events.
For information on Student Placements, Life Skills or Professional Development Day Facilitation, and Program Events, please contact at [email protected]
Nikkian Hanson Case Manager and Donation Coordinator
Nikkian joined Home Suite Hope with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Equity Studies and a Diploma in Community and Justice Services. Prior to joining the team, she worked with at-risk youth and adults in the community and social service sector as an Autism Consultant. Nikkian is the lead Case Manager supporting families in both our Stabilizing First Halton and Homeward Bound Halton Programs. She works one-on-one with our participants to create and execute individualized service plans and assists our families in reaching stability and independence. In addition, Nikkian coordinates all physical donations for our Home Suite Hope families.
For information on making a Physical Donation to our families, please contact Nikkian at [email protected]
Leah Burton, BSW, MSW Case Manager
Leah was first involved with Home Suite Hope in 2017 as an intern completing her degree. Since then, Leah officially joined the team in 2018 and has held the roles of program administration support, program assistant, and part-time caseworker. Leah obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from McMaster University and completed her Masters of Social Work. As the part-time Caseworker and Communications Coordinator, Leah manages referrals, intake, and onboarding case management. Leah also supports in the creation of the organization’s promotional materials and design.
Please join us in welcoming Sarah Gillen (back) to Home Suite Hope as the Program Coordinator.
Some of you may remember Sarah as she worked in a number of capacities at Home Suite Hope over the last three years. Sarah did her Bachelor’s of Social Work placement at HSH and then stayed on in a number of contracts until she left us to complete her Bachelor’s of Education (commonly referred to as Teacher’s College).
As a registered social worker and certified teacher, we have no doubt that Sarah will excel in this new position.
Angela recently joined the Home Suite Hope team after a lengthy career in community journalism. As a long-time news reporter, Angela covered everything from politics and police to community and arts across Halton and Mississauga, and then was a community section editor and then managing editor in Oakville. Angela comes to us with a Bachelor’s degree, with double majors in English and French literature from the University of Toronto, diplomas in legal office administration and journalism from Sheridan, as well as experience as a legal office assistant at a Toronto law firm and contract public relations consultant with a school board. Angela has strong writing, language, communication and organizational skills. Having lived most of her life in Oakville and Halton, she is familiar with the communities served by Home Suite Hope across Halton and knowledgeable of the challenges facing its clients and the community support the agency requires. For general information on the organization, its programs and the application process, please contact Angela at [email protected].
Izabel Rader Bookkeeper
Joining us in 2007, Izabel is the longest standing member of the Home Suite Hope team. She works part-time as our bookkeeper and plays an important role in managing all finances and housing subsidies for our families; a core aspect to the support that we provide to our families. Izabel brings a wealth of experience to the agency and consults not only to HSH but also to other small companies and charities in the GTA.
Kinda Jazeh is a new supporter of HSH, but has a wide range of experience inside and outside of Canada. Kinda is HSH’s Volunteer Coordinator. If you or your organization are looking for volunteer opportunities and would like to become part of our community please email Kinda at [email protected].
Here’s Kinda’s story: I grew up in a happy humble environment in Aleppo, Syria, famed for being the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world. I studied business management and continued this at Sheridan College in Oakville via courses in office administration.
My volunteer work started in a seniors’ home in Aleppo. I continued this work with Mercy Corps in Amman, Jordan helping mainly single mother Syrian families survive the terrible war, cope with little or no resources and prejudices, settle in Jordan and/or prepare their applications for refugee status. This experience motivates me to continue to help via volunteer organizations.
I was employed in the only international organization in Syria, an agricultural research centre, that brought me up close with rural lif as I interviewed farming families and became aware of their circumstances. There, I met my British husband and moved with my family to Oakville, Canada, in 2008 where he worked at the United Nations University through McMaster University, Hamilton, interspersed with three years in Jordan. Through my husband’s work and travel, I was immersed in a multi-cultural environment similar to Canada and I enjoy interacting with people from diverse backgrounds. Awareness of the challenges of new arrivals in Canada drives me to help settle them and offer support to those less fortunate than myself. I have volunteered for Newcomer Centre of Peel and I hope to continue this effort with Home Suite Hope, including helping to organize events for fundraising.
If you or your organization are looking for volunteer opportunities and would like to become part of our community please email Kinda at [email protected]
Vice ChairFrance Fournier
Treasurer & Chair of Finance CommitteeLisa Garland
Member, Board of DirectorsSasha Gay Hanson
Member of Fundraising/Outreach CommitteeNavia Sharma
Member, Finance CommitteeTed Ecclestone
Chair of Fundraising & Outreach CommitteeMary Sheridan
Member of Governance CommitteeElizabeth Young
Member of Fundraising & Outreach CommitteeBlake Hampton-Davies
Legal CounselBurhana Bello-Ayorinde
Barrie Carlyle Chair
Chair of Human Resources Committee
Barrie Carlyle holds more than 20 years of experience in human resources consulting, entrepreneurial and business leadership and employment law, and is currently the Regional Vice President for Canada at Right Management.
Barrie has spent most of his career building and operationalizing service offerings in all areas of human resources, and has worked in senior leadership positions in Calgary, Ottawa and the GTA. While in Ottawa he was also a part-time lecturer at Algonquin College, and was a curriculum advisor for the Business and Human Resources faculties.
Barrie is frequently cited in the media for his expertise in human resources and has been featured in the National Post, Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald and as a featured presenter for the HRPA as well as Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures program.
Barrie holds a Bachelor of Laws, LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Graduate Diploma in Management from Athabasca University. Raised in Toronto, he now lives in Oakville with his wife Anita and their two daughters
France Fournier Vice Chair
France Fournier, Executive Vice President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. Board member since December 2018 & Chair of the Fundraising Committee. Proud Oakville resident since 1994, community-minded and a strong supporter of the Oakville non-profit network.
Lisa Garland CPA, Treasurer Chair of Finance Committee
Lisa Garland joined SB Partners as a Principal with the Tax Division – bringing over 25-years experience in international tax planning, Canadian tax preparation, estate planning, and CRA appeals. An industry professional, Lisa specializes in personal tax with an emphasis on owner managers, executive compensation, estate work, and international personal and trust taxation.
A sole proprietor for seven years before coming to the firm, Lisa adopts a personal approach to business by getting to know her clients, understand their needs, and seek out the best possible solution to any issue. As a Past President and member of the Estate Planners’ Council of Halton, Lisa is connected with the community in which she lives, works and plays. Lisa has two children in university and enjoys golf, skiing and curling.
Sasha Gay Hanson Member, Board of Directors
Sasha is a spectacular graduate of Home Suite Hope’s Homeward Bound Halton program who wants to give back to HSH. We look forward to her bringing her expertise to the board. We are so excited to have this amazing individual join our board and we know that her knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as we seek to grow and better serve our community and participants.
Catherine Meagher Secretary Chair of Governance Committee
Catherine is a lawyer with experience working at a large law firm in Toronto. Catherine’s practice areas included government relations, trade law, professional regulation, and corporate law. Catherine received her law degree from Dalhousie University, and clerked at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Catherine lives in Oakville with her family; and, has volunteered with a number of organizations over the years – most recently at her daughter’s local school.
Navia Sharma Member of Fundraising/Outreach Committee
Navia Sharma is joining the HSH board as its newest member. An already active volunteer member of HSH’s Industry Council, Navia is Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications for WSP in Canada. She brings 20 years of leadership experience in the industrial and consumer product sectors, brand strategy, program management and business development. At WSP, Navia leads brand, marketing and communications, as well as government, media and industry relations. She joined WSP in 2017 and is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Trinity College and Cornell University.
Ted Ecclestone Member, Finance Committee
Ted is the Executive Vice President, Private Wealth at Fiera Capital. He oversees the organization within Fiera that manages investments for individuals across Canada and has been with Fiera and a predecessor firm for 15 years.
He has lived in Oakville for 25 years with his wife who grew up in Oakville and the couple share three adult children and two dogs.
While growing up in London, Ontario, Ted’s mother was an active volunteer in the community and the family traveled to Moose Factory on James Bay, often in February, where Ted’s dad volunteered in the hospital.
While surrounded by good people and support himself, Ted is aware that luxury doesn’t exist to the same extent for everyone and for that reason wanted to work with Home Suite Hope, helping the participants in its program with advice or connections as they go through their journeys towards more stable lives.
Ted has been a member of HSH’s Industry Council and is now on the board. Ted believes it’s important to lend a hand where we can to help those people who are working so hard to improve their situations. That is what HSH is about to him, and why it is so important.
Mary Sheridan Chair of Fundraising & Outreach Committee
Mary Sheridan is Director of Communications & Marketing at a Toronto-area firm. Mary has developed corporate communications & digital strategies designed to improve organizational reputation. Through systematic tactics, she has set budgets, team goals, tracked progress, and indexed the results. Incorporating KPI-specific values and measuring return on engagement are her expertise.
Mary is keenly aware that communication transparency and analytics are the most reliable source for continuous improvement initiatives. Her experience with ‘reputation risk management in a rejection category’ provides a unique skillset and she is an ‘outside the box’ thinker focused on learning, planning, and delivering solutions that are unique, fun, and informative.
Member of Governance Committee
Elizabeth Young is a communications and public affairs professional, skilled at communications strategy, stakeholder relations, public and media relations, and community engagement.
She has held roles within the transportation, healthcare, consumer goods, and professional services sectors as well as with the Ontario and U.K. governments. She holds a Masters of Communications Management from McMaster University and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from the University of Toronto.
Elizabeth and her husband moved to Oakville nearly two decades ago and, along with their two children, two cats, and one dog, are proud to call this beautiful community home. Elizabeth is already making her presence felt in the areas of governance and public relations on the HSH Board. We welcome her continued valuable input.
Blake Hampton-Davies Member of Fundraising & Outreach Committee
Member of Finance Committee
A respected Capital Markets executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Blake has an extensive knowledge in the Structuring and Marketing of financial derivative products, Equity & Debt financing and General Management. Recognized as a creative and trusted problem-solver and skilled negotiator, he is known for building and leading teams and driving continual improvements that increase revenue, reduce costs and generate bottom line growth. Blake and his family reside in Oakville and contribute to building a vibrant community through their support of OTMH, Start 2 Finish, OCF, Sheridan College, OSCR and other local organizations.
I have been an Oakville resident for many years. The Town is the only home our children truly know. We have three grown children with ages ranging from 15 to 21 years. For my husband and I, when it came to choosing a place to settle about two decades ago, Oakville felt like the right fit. We have never looked back.
I am a commercial lawyer and after years of working in-house and in larger firms I finally started my own practice west of the City about ten years ago.
I have always believed that one has not truly lived unless one helps others and it is in that spirit that I strive to find opportunities to give back not just locally in Oakville, the Greater Toronto Area, but also beyond our borders. I have had the opportunity to serve on various local and international charities and with each experience I feel honoured anew as I learn from the experiences of those we serve.