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Andrew Cash visit 2014


Our Place Recruiting New Board Members


Our Place Community of Hope's mission is to provide a welcoming, supportive and safe environment where people living with mental illness can find community and joy. Founded in 1969 by a Franciscan priest, Our Place's drop-in centre offers social recreation programs where people can meet, connect and build relationships. We also assist individuals in building recovery skills for independent living and accessing other services and supports.

Our Place is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, which is actively recruiting new board members. Board members preferably have experience related to mental illness. We are seeking individuals with the following areas of expertise: fundraising, finance, governance and mental health clinical experience.

Board members are expected to invest 6-7 hours/month for board meetings and committee work.  The commitment is for a 3-year term and members are asked to serve on at least one committee.  Monthly Board meetings are held at Our Place, eleven times per year, usually on the third Tuesday of the month. 

Our Place is open from 2:00 pm to 8:15 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Come visit us at our location in the basement of the Galilee Korean Presbyterian Church at 1183 Davenport Road in Toronto, near Ossington Avenue (entrance on Delaware Avenue). Our Place is primarily funded by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

If you are passionate about making a real difference in the lives of people living with mental illness, please send your resume and a brief note outlining what interests you about serving on the Our Place Board of Directors to



David Collins (Executive Director)

David Collins

David Collins has over twenty years of work experience in mental health, addictions and homelessness. He has worked as the Administrator at All Saints' Church-Community Centre for eleven years, as the Manager of Housing and Homeless Services at St. Stephen's House and as the Manager of the Matt Talbot Houses program at St. Michael's Homes. He has served on many boards and steering committees, most notably as one of the founders of the Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force. As the Task Force's President for ten years, David helped produce a number of educational materials including more than a dozen videos on Overdose Prevention, Harm Reduction and Housing and other topics. David has recently graduated from the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy and is currently clients under supervision in private practice.


Teresa Tallerico (President, Board of Directors)

 Teresa Tallerico

Teresa Tallerico joined the Board of Directors in November 2011, bringing mental health and financial expertise. In November 2014, she was elected to the position of President after serving as Treasurer for two years.  As a medical research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Tallerico has investigated the biological basis of schizophrenia and mechanisms of antipsychotic drug action. She earned her MBA degree from the Rotman School of Management in 2010. Teresa joined the Board because Our Place offers a safe oasis for those living with mental illness, significantly enriching their quality of life.

Sahar Zaidi (Treasurer, Board of Directors)

Sahar Zaidi

Sahar Zaidi joined the board in 2013. Mental health is an issue close to her heart as she saw her grandfather, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, struggle with his condition. A centre like Our Place would have been an ideal place for him to socialize in a safe environment. Sahar’s expertise lies in not-for-profit organizations, specializing in women’s issues including mental health. She is the Project Coordinator for the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW). Sahar is currently developing an online hub for violence against women service providers in Toronto to share resources, best practices, projects, fundraising and recruitment. She is currently a board member for Nellie’s Shelter and Faith in New Regent Park. Sahar also serves as the Vice-President of the Toronto chapter for CCMW.

Mara Haase (Secretary, Board of Directors)

 Mara Haase

Mara Haase joined the Board in 2015, bringing paralegal expertise, non-profit experience, and a passion for social justice and community service. She is currently the Legal Assistance Program Administrator for the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). She is a Board Member of the John Howard Society of York Region, a past Board Member of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA), and she also volunteers with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto’s Social-Recreational Skills Program at the Vanier Correctional Centre for Women. A strong desire to help those living with mental illness through community supports is what led Mara to join the Board of Our Place.


Steve Knox (Director)

Steve Knox

Steve Knox joined the Board in 2014. He brings 18 years of human resources experience having worked in the consumer packaging, services, and professional services industries. Steve Is currently the Head of Global Talent Acquisition for GE responsible for the recruitment strategy and operations for GE’s global and international markets. Previously he was in senior talent acquisition roles with Deloitte, FedEx and Kimberly-Clark Inc. Steve’s true passion is his wife and two young boys. His wife is a Social Worker with experience in the mental health field which fostered an appreciation and interest in the work that Our Place provides in supporting the community.


Laura Mattila (Director)

 Laura Mattila

Laura is the Director of Operations for Education at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. She previously held leadership positions at the Hospital for Sick Children, including Manager for Safety Reporting, and Manager for both the Centre for Brain and Behaviour and the Psychiatry and Adolescent Medicine programs. She obtained her Honours B.A. (Sociology) and M.A. (Sociology of Health and Mental Health) from the University of Toronto. Laura volunteers with the Out of the Cold program at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and also serves as Board President for Times Change Women's Employment Services, a community agency which offers education and career counselling for women. Laura joined the Our Place Board in January 2016.


Edmund Chan (Director)

Ed Chan joined the Our Place Board in 2015, bringing legal expertise, a range of not-for-profit volunteer leadership, and a passion for helping others.  Ed has serves as the Chair of the Program Development Committee at our Place.  A lawyer by training, Ed was formerly the head of litigation at a leading Toronto boutique law firm and has 10+ years of experience litigating commercial, insurance, real estate and human rights disputes before all levels of Ontario Courts and tribunals.  Ed obtained an Hon BA from the University of Toronto, a BA in Law and an MA in Law from Oxford University, and an LLB from Dalhousie University.  He is currently studying for a degree in Social Work at the University of Waterloo with the aim of working more directly with individuals to help improve their lives. 



Board Meetings are held at Our Place 11 times per year. If you are interested in making a real difference in the lives of people living with mental illness, please email your resume and a brief note describing what interests you about serving on the Our Place Community of Hope Board of Directors to

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