Meet Our Instructors

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Instructor Bios

Toronto Hostels Training Centre is very fortunate to have a group of excellent facilitators who possess wide-ranging education and direct experience in social work and human services with specific application to the homeless sector. Please read their bios which follow.

is a Certified Adult Educator with an extensive career in the field of Human Services. Adeel has direct front-line and management experience and shares industry best practices for assessing needs, counselling interventions, service and performance improvement. Adeel has wide-ranging knowledge and shares specific examples of how to apply industry legislation and standards in the workplace. He has developed and delivered training across Ontario to various Human Services professionals including union and non-union, front-line and management. He has multiple certifications and has received many commendations for his training. Adeel has an open, energetic and engaging style and creates a dynamic learning environment for all his learners


ALISON PAIS Alison has her Masters in Social Work with over two decades of experience in the field. She has had the opportunity to practice social work in three different countries. Alison is a Community Crisis Worker at the Gerstein Crisis Centre and is a certified LivingWorks ASIST trainer. She is experienced in developing and facilitating workshops relating to topics such as suicide prevention, crisis intervention, case management and mental health awareness. When she is not at work or facilitating workshops, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and watching Netflix.


AUDREY BATTERHAM has 14 years experience in coordinating health promotion programming and in supporting youth and women. Her work has been focused in the homelessness sector and she has facilitated workshops on a breadth of topics, including anti-violence, gender equity, mental health, self-care, anti-oppression, sexual health, harm reduction, HIV, Hep C, group facilitation, peer counselling and more. She holds an M.Ed in Adult Education and Community Development and has taught in the Assaulted Women and Children Counselling and Advocacy program at George Brown College. She has been managing peer programs for a decade, coordinating a successful harm reduction-based youth leadership project in Toronto for five years. Currently she is facilitating empowerment groups and writing curriculum.


BARBARA MacGIBBON, for over 30 years, has been supporting people and communities through the creation and delivery of transformative programming. She’s worked with street clinics, suicide prevention programs, and shelters. Barbara’s taught at George Brown and Humber Colleges and been a trainer for both government and community organizations. She’s worked on community projects in Haiti, on First Nations and in Nunavut, Nunavik, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Barbara has a Master’s in Adult Education, a certificate in Bereavement Education, and studied Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Trent.


CANDICE BRIMNER, RSW, has worked in the social services sector since 2010 in both clinical and leadership roles. Currently, she is a Registered Social Worker at one of the leading teaching hospitals in Ontario and maintains a small psychotherapy practice in Hamilton. Candice is passionate about her work and not only utilizes theory in her practice, but also her lived experience as a woman in recovery from mental health and substance use.


COURTENAY MCGLASHEN has worked in the Social Services for almost 20 years. He’s been a Worker, System Coordinator, and Program Manager in various programs and sectors. He has worked primarily in Mental Health, Justice, Addictions, and Housing/Homelessness.


DALE KUEHL, MSW RSW has 20 years of social work experience. He is a Master Trainer of Treatment (an addiction treatment training program) with the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime-where he has trained social and healthcare workers in Africa, Caribbean, Middle East & Asia. Currently, he works at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) as an Advanced Practice Clinician in the Outpatient Services of the Complex Mental Illness Program. He is a sessional instructor at the School of Social Work Programs at York and Ryerson University and adjunct lecturer, with the Faculty of Social Work & Coordinator of the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies, School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. He co-designed, developed and taught the first Certificate Program in Harm Reduction.


DANA KAMIN is a Registered Social Worker, clinical counsellor, training facilitator and past program manager with years of experience providing crisis intervention. counselling, case management and goal planning support within drop-in, food bank and shelter settings. Dana updated and facilitated several Toronto Drop-In Network trainings, including trainings delivered at the Toronto Hostels Training Centre, and has worked extensively with homeless and low-income populations, including those with hoarding issues, at Daily Bread Food Bank and Egale Youth OUTreach. Additionally, Dana worked as a Hoarding Support Coach at VHA Home HealthCare, supporting individuals related to hoarding in their home, in both a volunteer and employment capacity. In her private practice, Dana works with clients to build resilience, tap into strengths, and lessen the challenges that come with anxiety, depression, PTSD/C- PTSD, OCD, hoarding and other mental health challenges. Additionally, Dana’s team works extensively with queer, trans, non-binary and LGBTQ+ populations, and those with chronic pain and other physical/mental health challenges.


DIANA McNALLY is the Training and Engagement Coordinator with the Toronto Drop-in Network. Diana has worked frontline in Toronto drop-ins since 2014, including supporting street-involved people who use methamphetamine. In addition to this experience, Diana also holds a Masters of Education in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto, a Masters of Arts in Museum Studies, a Bachelors of Fine Art in Art History and Design, and a Diploma of Community Work from George Brown College. Diana has taught workshops in community agencies and organizations for both participants and staff, including at SKETCH, the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, and the Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre, and has acted as a guest instructor with the TDSB. She is currently an instructor in George Brown’s Community Worker program, and previously taught media studies and design at both Ryerson University and Centennial College.


ELIZABETH LOVRICS, MSW BA, BFA, RSW received her undergraduate degree of Fine Arts at the Nova Scotia College or Art and Design, and after a brief career in the Fine Art field, she went on to complete her Master of Social Work degree at York University. For the past16 years, Elizabeth has been working at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre with adolescents with complex mental health needs and their families in the residential treatment program. Elizabeth has extensive experience participating in a variety of external and internal committees. She has certificates and specialized training in CBT, mediation and most recently she has completed DBT training with Behaviour Tech and is currently developing and facilitating DBT informed skills groups for adolescents and their parents within a residential context. Elizabeth, with her colleagues presented their recent efforts bringing DBT skills to families at the CMMHO conference in 2015.


FIONNA CONNELLY is a mediator, trainer, and communications professional with a background in employment equity, refugee sponsorship, unions and international development. She has an M.Ed from OISE/UofT where she focused on adult education. She then taught in George Brown’s community worker program. She trained as a mediator with the Conflict Resolution Service at the Neighbourhood Group, specializing in workplace and community mediation. More recently she has engaged in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion leadership training with Toronto’s Anima Leadership. She has contributed to equity and decolonialization processes in her own workplaces. Her commitment to social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion motivates her interest in helping social justice organizations and activists resolve conflicts and work together with greater clarity and kindness.


FRAN ODETTE MSW Fran has been working on issues related to equity for over twenty-five years with a primary focus on working to address gender and disability issues. Fran has focused her writing and research on issues pertaining to violence against women and children living with disabilities or are Deaf. Throughout the years, Fran has worked with diverse participants from the violence against women sectors, which include housing, child welfare and health care; focusing on topics related to equitable and inclusive program and service delivery for female-identified survivors of violence, including survivors with disabilities. Applying an anti-racist, anti-oppression framework (ARAO) to her training, Fran has advised community agencies and the provincial government on a range of projects focused on policy and programming which have included the Domestic Violence Action Plan, a provincial-wide initiative on safeguards for persons who are Augmentative and Alternative Communication users, and a provincial project on sexual supports for persons using attendant services. Fran is a subject matter expert, guest speaker, workshop trainer, keynote speaker and panelist. Finally, Fran is a Professor in the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/ Advocate Program and the Social Service Worker Program at George Brown College. She teaches an elective in both programs on critical disability studies and the application to ‘care’ work.


JACQUELINE BENN-JOHN, PH.D. CANDIDATE, MED., OACCPP Jacqueline’s diverse career spans over twenty years and focuses primarily on empowering women and children experiencing multi-layered marginalization, violence and poverty. Jacqueline has worked across sectors with diverse stakeholders and survivors of violence to prevent and eradicate violence against women and children. Applying an intersectional, anti-racist and feminist framework to her practice, Jacqueline has advised the provincial government on numerous funding, program and policy initiatives (provincial sexual assault services for men, for example; and informing Ontario’s first Sexual Violence Action Plan). She has advised community organizations on best practices in non-profit and the anti-violence sectors and has supported organizations to strengthen their capacities to achieve their mandates. Jacqueline has consulted with other groups internationally as well, sharing best practices with social workers at a Child Sexual Abuse Conference in Bucaramanga Colombia. Jacqueline has been a sought-after subject matter expert, guest speaker, workshop trainer, facilitator, keynote speaker and panelist. Currently, Jacqueline is a Professor in the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/ Advocate Program at George Brown College, as well as at Humber College in the Community and Justice Services Program.


JANINE LAWFORD MSW, RSW is a senior social worker and psychotherapist with a specific interest and expertise in trauma. Janine has extensive experience working with children, youth and their families. She works at the Hincks- Dellcrest Centre as a therapist, trainee supervisor and instructor. Janine is the co-leader both a trauma seminar and a trauma-focused assessment and treatment team. In her private practice, she offers psychotherapy and specialized training, as well as consultation to the Tele-Link mental health program at the Hospital for Sick Children around trauma. Janine also works in the field of high-conflict divorce as a clinical investigator for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.


JUDY WOLFE has extensive leadership experience in the non-profit sector, including Chairing the Board of a community centre and a magazine. Based in part on this direct experience, she has provided training in governance and strategic planning to national organizations as well as regional and local ones (including emergency shelters). She has advised municipal and provincial governments on a wide variety of topics, including funding for emergency shelters and other homelessness programs. Judy has degrees in Political Science/Economics and Business Administration.


LAVAL MARTIN, BSW, MSW, RSW, has worked in the social service sector since 2006. He provides training on a variety of topics through Laval Martin Consulting Inc. He also has a small private psychotherapy practice Wise Mind where he delivers Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and other therapeutic modalities. In the past, he has worked with people experiencing poverty and homelessness, developmental disabilities and other mental health challenges. He has developed and delivered workshops on topics from crisis intervention and conflict resolution to documentation practices and time management. Laval has practiced various martial arts and self-defense systems since 2001, with a focus on avoiding and de-escalating conflict. He is a full-instructor of Senshido. He has also experienced (and recovered from) burnout!


MARGO VANHONSBERGER, SSW, B.A., B.Ed., is an adult educator who brings a wealth of experiences relating to supporting individuals with an acquired brain injury (ABI). She currently works as a Residential Program Manager for Brain Injury Community Re-Entry (Niagara) Inc. and has worked for 18 years in the brain rehabilitation field. Margo has been active in facilitating training sessions at a variety of agencies. With her background in education and an interest in promoting active staff participation, Margo enjoys working with agencies and meeting new people.


MARTEZ SCHEMBRI-DISKEY, RMT, CST-D, CSFC, SD is a Registered Massage Therapist, Craniosacral Therapist, clinical practitioner and educator since 1993. Author and Speaker, she shares her personal story, professional knowledge and experience of Integrative biopsychosocial treatment approach. After a catastrophic car accident, she began studying biopsychosocial-spiritual dimensions of healing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Counselling, Spiritual Direction and Spiritual Psychotherapy and Trauma Tension Release Exercises (TRE) to treat her clients with chronic pain, stress, burnout, trauma and post traumatic stress. She facilitates workshops and Heal the Healers Retreats for Compassion fatigue, post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth, health, wellness and self- care. Martez’s passion is to educate, empower and inspire integrative health, self-care and healing on all levels.

MAXINE AKU BROWN is a committed professional in the field of Social Services and Program Development and Facilitation for over 20 years. She holds a Graduate Degree in Environmental Studies which focused on Womanhood, Resilience, Decolonization, Gender, and Identity. Both her educational background as well as her extensive career experience has resulted in the successful development of programming and training for marginalized youth and families in the areas of mental health and identity formation both within the GTA and internationally. During her tenure at an accredited Children’s Mental Health Agency, embedded in her practice were principles of and strategies informed from anti-oppressive and Anti-Black Racism frameworks. Maxine was a professor in the Child and Youth Care Program at both George Brown and Sheridan College. and now holds the position of Director, Youth Programs and Supports for WoodGreen Community Services.


MICHAEL FRONTE is a senior safety consultant. He has considerable experience in designing, developing and facilitating a variety of legislative safety compliance programs since 1987. Past clients include municipalities, agencies, boards, commissions and private corporations. He has managed the Corporate Safety Training Services Unit and the Workplace Safety and Emergency Training Agency for the former Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. Through developmental interventions, strategies and facilitation methods, he delivers effective results- orientated safety-training programs ensuring due diligence and legal compliance.


MICHELLE LEWIS BSW, MSW., RSW is a registered social worker with over a decade of experience working in community and acute settings. Michelle specializes in the planning and delivery of healthcare for people presenting with complex mental health and addictions profiles. She has held several positions throughout her career including; community support worker, group facilitator, counsellor, coordinator, clinical program manager and part time academic professor. Michelle holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Health and Mental Health, a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in psychology from Ryerson University and a Social Service Worker diploma from Humber College. She is currently Director of Clinical Services at the Canadian Mental Health Association and part-time Professor at Humber College and Ryerson University in their Chang School of Continuing Education. Michelle values health equity, anti-oppressive practices and quality in service delivery.


NENE KWASI KAFELE most recently was the Director of Health Equity at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for 11 years. He was also a senior manager in the provincial government and Executive Director of the Jamaican Canadian Association. He has worked and volunteered for over 30 years in Toronto with different equity-seeking communities and organizations as a facilitator, educator, organizer, trainer, youth counselor and researcher. He is a trained conflict mediator. He has facilitated equity/diversity management, strategic planning, organizational development, community economic development and youth leadership courses and programs with numerous agencies, institutions and community-based organizations. He has also taught a certificate course in Cross-Cultural Skills for Human Service Providers at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Social Work. Nene has an M.A. in Environmental Studies from York University and an Advanced Certificate in Executive Leadership from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto. He is currently pursuing a PhD at York University, focusing on the coping assets for urban young African Canadian men in Toronto in addressing stressors like racism, violence and poverty


NICKI CASSERES has worked in the mental health community for over thirty-three years providing crisis counselling, support and education. Nicki is the Coordinator of Training and Community Education at the Gerstein Crisis Centre in Toronto. She is the coordinator for the Learning Exchange Program for Newcomers (in collaboration with Ryerson University), develops training curriculum and is a certified ASIST trainer, workshop facilitator and advocate. Her clients include Toronto Police Services, Brampton Provincial Court, as well as private and community organizations across the GTA and Ontario. A dedicated advocate for mental health issues, Nicki has served on a number of community boards and committees as Chair, including at Toronto Police Services LGBTQ2 Liaison Committee, Street Health, and Housing Support Services.


PAULLETTE MARSHALL has a strong background and extensive experience in community Mental Health. After 30 years of an active career in managing staff teams in mental health, training & facilitation, supportive housing, recovery and employment skills, she has honed her craft into a developing a strong professional practise with high standards in Case Management. In addition to her skills and qualifications, Paullette has recently earned a Master’s Certificate in Health Care Management with Schulich School of Business.


ROBERT BUDD is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BA) and the University of Windsor (B Comm. and LLB) He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1978 and has practiced labour-relations and employment law on behalf of management over the past 33 years. During his career, he has practiced with the Ontario Hospital Association, acting on behalf of Hospitals throughout Ontario, with the law firms of Fraser & Beatty, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, and Morris/Rose/ Lidgett. For the past six years, Robert has conducted his labour-relations practice as a sole practitioner. Robert’s practice is primarily involved in negotiations of collective agreements, presentation of cases on behalf of management to Arbitrators, Labour Boards, Human Rights Tribunals and Employment Standards Tribunals. Robert also engages in educational seminars for various clients and other organizations.


THE 519 Facilitators for this course are members of The 519 Education and Training team. The 519 Education and Training team provides organizations with the insights, tools, and understanding to create environments that are LGBTQ2S-inclusive, respectful and welcoming. The 519 team brings a range of lived and professional experiences which inform the development and delivery of our training. The team is currently providing direct services to LGBTQ2S communities and delivering LGBTQ2S inclusion workshops and community consultations to a vast array of clients across Toronto and beyond, reaching more than 12,000 people annually. This team has a deep understanding of the needs of the LGBTQ2S communities in relation to employment, housing, and beyond.


THE TRANS COMMUNITY SHELTER ACCESS PROJECT is a team of trans women and trans men funded to provide training and policy assistance to shelters and hostels, with the goal of making services accessible to TS/TG people. This project has been operating out of The 519 Community Centre since 2001. Trans presenters of this workshop are part of a community development and skills-building program who are in-training to develop their capacity as facilitators and community workers.


TRAINING SOLUTIONS, is a network of dedicated instructors, SSWs, MSWs and RSWs, established in 2007 and has been helping people find success and maximize their potential through training and individual growth. Members of Training Solutions have established themselves both individually and as a collective as credible resources around leadership, management and human relations and bring extensive experience in leadership, human services / social services sectors, in various levels of government and in the private sector.


YVETTE PERREAULT Team Lead for Good Grief Care Consultants, a diverse team that provide accessible, relevant traumatic  grief  supports  to  front  line  workers  and  their  managers  in  the  not-for-profit  sector(; MA Leadership and Training (Royal Roads University); Traumatology Certification (Traumatology Institute of Canada); member Association of Death Education and Counselling- Thanatology Association (ADEC) ; member International Association of Facilitators (IAF); Former Director AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario. Currently part time Traumatic Grief Specialist with the Enrichment Centre for Mental Health (CMHA Hastings County) and supporting front line Harm Reduction workers through the Worker Wellness Initiative (Breakaway).