Threshold Housing Society - Offering Solutions for the Future

Threshold exists to serve youth from across Vancouver Island through a program towards independence. Providing programming, housing, positive role models and constructive support that helps youth in our community navigate the challenges of school, work, relationships and life. Many of these young people just need someone to believe in them.

 

OUR VISION:  Greater Victoria at-risk youth confidently fulfilling their potential.

OUR MISSION:  Threshold Housing Society helps at-risk youth attain independence and self-reliance through supportive transitional housing.

OUR MANDATE:  To provide a transitional housing program for youth at risk of homelessness.  Our program offers stability for school completion, work training, and employment. To augment the experience of being safely housed, Threshold also provides an innovative foundation skills programming and transitional planning to connect youth with community resources to assist them in achieving their goals.

Our Housing

Housing for homeless youth

Threshold House

Threshold House is our newest house! Opened in September 2016, Threshold House is a home for youth aged 16-22. The co-ed house provides a home where residents develop community and plan for their future with the support of Threshold staff. As with all THS homes, knowing that they can count on a roof over their heads and on a sense of caring community means that Threshold House youth can concentrate on finding work, finishing school and realizing their true potential.

 


Mitchell House

Mitchell House is a home where young men are given the chance to gain valuable skills and grow towards working or getting an education with the support of Threshold staff. Stability in knowing there’s a roof over their head means they can concentrate on the next steps toward independence. Read more


Holly House

Holly House is a home where young women are able to escape intolerable living circumstances and unhealthy relationships. Here, they are able to get the care and support they need to succeed in work and school while moving towards a bright, independent adulthood. Read more


SHY

With the help of our community, the Safe Housing for Youth (SHY) Program connects vulnerable youth with stable and affordable housing. Learn how you can become a SHY landlord


Our Team

Colin Tessier

Executive Director

Bio coming soon…


Jody Yurkowsky Pace

Jody Yurkowsky Pace

Director of Program Services

Jody comes to Threshold with nearly 20 years of experience working in non-profit organizations in Canada, Latvia and Sweden.  She has a background in social work and adult education.  Jody has a deep passion for social justice and poverty issues and enjoys devoting her time to organizations that are committed to the inherent dignity of all people.  Her work with marginalised and homeless youth and adults spans settings from Eastern Europe to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

In her spare time, Jody can be found on a west coast beach somewhere in rubber boots and a raincoat holding the hand of her little girl and watching her husband throw a stick for their pooch – all the while juggling the obligatory cup of hot coffee and a sand bucket.


Jason Walsh

Youth Mental Health Navigator

Jason has 20 years’ experience working with youth, adults and families through non-profits in Canada. B.A. in Child and Youth Care, Diploma in Community Support Work. Specializing in Mental Health and disabilities. Jason has a passion working with youth who have no advocates, supporting them to find their own voice. Free time is spent with his wife and 6 year old daughter. Jason enjoys playing hockey and curling, and is rarely seen without a cup of coffee.


Natalie Woldnik

Youth Engagement Liaison

Natalie has always wanted to travel the world, settle down by the ocean and work with youth. Despite the lack of stamps in her passport Natalie feels like she’s living proof that some dreams do come true. Natalie started her career as a Child and Youth Care worker in Edmonton Alberta as a graduate of Grant MacEwan University. After three years of front line work with children in care Natalie triumphantly returned to Victoria in 2014. Since then she has spent her time working in various shelters and transitional housing programs as she completes her Social Work degree through Dalhousie University. Natalie has never won a staring contest in her life, given the choice she wouldn’t own a pair of shoes and she tells people she does yoga even though it’s been a solid three months since her last class. On the weekend, if Natalie is not sleeping in, she is at the beach wondering how she ever got so lucky to be living in such a beautiful chunk of the world.


Kara Udell - LIfeskills Coordinator

Kara Udell

Foundations Coordinator

Kara was raised in a family of service, she was taught that she is here to walk with each other through all of life’s trials and serve whenever there is a need. That lead her to many years working in the care industry. Following a personal tragedy, Kara experienced what it was to be on the other end of that service; the humbling position in which she needed support, understanding and compassion. One of her most beautiful supports during that time was a new young friend who battled with a chronic drug habit; a decade long battle with addiction. That season and that young friend lead Kara to school to school to become a counsellor and better understand the brain and addiction and from there, work with Victoria’s homeless and marginalized communities.  A career path Kara is grateful for daily, a life where every moment is very much raw, purposeful and humbling. Still new to the island, Kara believes it is like a mini vacation every time she gets to slip out for a bare foot walk by the water or a scurry through the forest! The icing on the cake for Kara has been that she cannot begin to explain how excited she is for the opportunity of this role as Life-Skills Coordinator.


Sydney Richdale

Youth Engagement Liaison

Sydney was born and raised here in Victoria! As a young child, she developed a strong affinity for animals, arts, nature, sports and helping people! She graduated with her degree in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, and has been working in the housing sector ever since. She also works as a dog walker as she could not stay away from animals even if she tried. When not at work, you can find her volunteering at a local farm, reading books, traveling the world, out in nature, doing art, camping, and playing with her cat!


Lindsay Mitchell

Threshold House Supervisor

After seeking change from years in hospitality industry, Lindsay made the leap to transitional housing and youth care. As a housing supervisor, Lindsay strives to create a space where all youth that pass through our doors feel like they have a safe space where they are accepted and that they can call home.  When not working, Lindsay can be found singing songs, playing tiny guitars on tiny beaches, exploring new parts of the world and all the delicious sausage rolls that they have to offer.


Shawn Eddie

Mitchell House Supervisor

Bio coming soon…


Sarah Morrison

Residential Supervisor
As the supervisor at Holly House, Sarah loves that she gets to spend time with incredible women every single day. With a background in psychology and yoga, Sarah strives to create a space where youth can show up authentically, without fear of judgement and learn to love themselves and support each other. Sarah loves to dance, hang out at the beach, go for walks stopping to smell every flower and pet every dog along the way, make delicious food with friends, and swim

Susan Mooney

Adminstrative Assistant

Susan was born and raised in Montreal, moving to Victoria with her (then) young family in 1999. With a degree in English Literature (which doesn’t necessarily point one in a specific direction career-wise), she moved into the world of office administration and has been there ever since. With many years’ experience in the medical world and church administration, she joined the Threshold family as recording secretary to the THS Board in 2014 and into the office full time as Administrative Assistant in 2017.
When not assisting administratively, Susan sings with 2 local vocal groups and lives happily as a mom doing mom stuff, sewing theatre costumes, the usual!


Jasmine Nagra

Development Coordinator

Jasmine was born and raised in Victoria, BC. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Social Justice. Jasmine is passionate about advocating for social justice issues and for vulnerable youth! You can find Jasmine drinking coffee, watching Netflix, or catching some sun on a floatie on a lake!


Our Board

Andrew Reeve - THS Board Member

Andrew Reeve

Chair

Andrew Reeve was born and raised in Victoria. He is the Director of Communications & Government Relations for the Trust for Sustainable Development and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Victoria, having studied Political Science and History. He has been involved with many organizations including Amalgamation Yes, Open Victoria, and was a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee. Reeve served as the President of the Liberal Party of Canada in Victoria for two years and as a Liberal Campaign Manager in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford during the 2015 federal election. Aside from politics and the community, he is an avid writer, Canucks fan, movie-buff, and a life-long skier.

Sean Dhillon

Sean Dhillon is a finance professional with CIBC Bank with expertise in residential and construction financing across Canada. Sean is an award winning finance professional and is a long time resident of Victoria. In addition to helping Canadians reaching their financial goals Sean actively volunteers in the community with numerous non-profit agencies. Sean is also trainer and lecturer on Social Media Best Practices and has been recognized for such work by speaking at small and large scale conferences. spare time Sean is a “weekend warrior” whereby he participates in Soccer, Running and Cycling.

Ruth Macintosh

Bio coming soon...

Carol Martin - Threshold Housing - End youth poverty

Carol Martin

Carol has a B.A. from UBC and M.P.A. from University of Victoria, as well as a Certificate in Mediation from the Justice Institute of BC. Over the years, Carol has worked with many Ministries of the Provincial Government both in frontline services and policy development, finance and administration and HR and Strategic Planning. The latter years were spent planning, coordinating and implementing government change initiatives affecting all Ministries. Carol has served on Church Boards at the Congregational, Presbytery and Conference level and community boards focused on housing and support services for youth, as well as an advisory Board for the Regional District on Agricultural Land Reserve applications. Carol has enjoyed past involvement in contributing to the wellbeing of youth and looks forward to this opportunity to serve on the Board of Threshold Society.

Alan Andrew

Bio coming soon...

Thomas Dennett

Bio coming soon...

Clayton Savage

Clayton was an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy for 20 years, serving in a wide variety of roles in ships, as an instructor to junior officers, and with a scientific organization. This was followed by a second career as a business and technology consultant, specializing in data analytics. He has an MSc in management sciences. Clayton's focus on the board is to help THS achieve certification of internationally recognized standards that demonstrate the quality of services our society provides to youth. Clayton grew up in Winnipeg. He and his wife Evelyn have lived in Victoria since the mid-1990's, and they have three adult children. Clayton enjoys sailing, and learning to play piano.

Rao Wandawasi

Treasurer

Rao Wandawasi is an audit professional with over 20 years of experience. Rao has worked extensively in North America and has also performed select tasks in Europe and Asia. Having worked in multiple industries Rao currently resides in Victoria, BC and works for one of the Crown Corporation as a Director, Internal Audit, Planning and Risk. His current responsibilities include Internal Audit (IA), Planning and Risk Management (PRM), Corporate Performance Management (CPM), Continuous Improvement (CI) and Business Advisory Service (BAS). Rao’s qualifications are Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certificate in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

Guy Dagenais Threshold Board Member - Youth Homelessness

Guy Dagenais

Guy has spent 35 years working in Ottawa in the Child Welfare and Youth Justice Fields, and teaching at Algonquin College in the Police Foundations Program. In Child Welfare, Guy worked for the Children’s Aid Society as a youth worker, a principal Child Abuse Investigative Social Worker and a program supervisor for youth and transitional residences. In Youth Justice, Guy worked one on one with high risk criminally involved young persons at the Easter Ontario Youth Justice Agency and later became Executive Director. While working in Youth Justice, Guy accepted a part-time teaching position at Algonquin College. Finally, Guy is a trained mediator / facilitator and enjoy volunteering with Restorative Justice Victoria. Guy has a BA in Psychology from Ottawa University and an incomplete MA in Pastoral Counselling from St-Paul’s University, in Ottawa. While studying at UofO, Guy played with the GEE-GEEs football team and won the Vanier Cup. His 1975 team was also inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. Guy has been enjoying his retirement since 2009.

Donald W Storch, MSW, OC.

Don is a social worker retired from private practise in the Employment Assistance field. Prior to opening his own practise he was employed by the South Vancouver Island Counselling and Assessment Service in Duncan, was a partner in Kelly Luttmer and Associates in Calgary, Vice-President for Children’s Services for Catholic Charities in Edmonton, and Executive Director of the Family Service Association in Edmonton. Don has served on many boards in Victoria, British Columbia and Alberta and Nationally. He was awarded an Order of Canada in 2008 for his extensive volunteer activity. Don’s interests are in social justice, housing, and interconnectedness of social services. He is a member of Lutheran Church of the Cross, Our Place Society and the Shelbourne Community Kitchen. He and his wife (Dr. Janet Storch) have lived in Victoria for over 20 years. They have 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren.

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