Blue Door Shelters has a rich 30-year tradition of responding to community needs.  We have 70 amazing staff and several volunteers working hard to provide our shelter residents with thoughtful personal attention. From arrival all the way through to the development of personal goals, to supporting our residents in accessing various programs at the shelters to finding a new home and beyond,  our staff are experts at client-centered care.  Working and giving at our shelters can be a life-changing experience and not only are we super dedicated, we are also a caring and fun community.  Every member of our shelter teams is valued and incredibly vital to Blue Door Shelters (BDS).  We are a compelling team and proud advocates for the people we serve at BDS! Please come in for a chat, we can’t do what we do without you!

The Management and Administration Team support the overall operation of Blue Door Shelters. Their responsibilities include managing financial, employee and volunteer resources, community outreach and guiding programing based on the strategic priorities set by the Board of Directors.

Alex Cheng
Alex ChengInterim Executive Director
With over ten years of management experience at social service agencies working with vulnerable populations, Alex cares deeply about programs that support people who identify with mental health issues. Due to his strong belief in the values of mental health recovery, peer support and self-determination, Alex gives his volunteer time to support causes that uphold these principles. Alex values working with shelter teams to foster strong connections between people we serve and the communities they choose to live in. Having lived in Panama and Canada, Alex welcomes the diversity at the shelters and has found his calling and his passion in improving the quality of care at BDS, one program at a time. It helps that Alex has a sense of humour and asks important questions like: “why are homeless youth not accessing local libraries?” and then finds collaborative solutions that bring vulnerable youth closer to valuable community resources.
Marni HerskovitsDirector of Client Services
Emmy KellyBusiness Director
Amanda Palermo
Amanda PalermoHuman Resource Manager
With over five years’ experience and expertise in the area of Human Resources from agencies like Children’s Aid Society and Home Depot, Amanda is a key asset to our team. She holds a BA from York University and completed graduate studies in Human Resources Management at George Brown College. Raised in York Region, Amanda has a strong connection to the non-profit sector and is committed to making positive change. On her first visit to our shelters, Amanda and a team of her colleagues from Home Depot participated in a volunteer construction project at the Youth Shelter. Inspired by this experience, Amanda quickly developed a deep appreciation for our role in the community. Amanda is a true team player and her ability to listen, problem-solve, organize and take initiative to support colleagues on various projects makes her a true champion! We also love the treats she bakes for us!
Barb Latour
Barb LatourOffice Manager
With over 12 years’ service with Blue Door Shelters, Barb has helped 1000’s of families receive donations in various forms over the years. Through her efforts to recruit strong volunteers, Barb is able to provide additional support to our clients by ensuring they receive clothing, gift cards, groceries and household items as they leave our shelters and move into housing. Barb knows we cannot do the work we do without the support of the community. She is truly humbled by the generosity and support Blue Door Shelters receives from so many kind and thoughtful people. Barb is strong, organized and supportive, and each of these strengths ensures that daily operations in the office run smoothly. BDS wouldn’t be BDS without Barb!
Stephanie Lau
Stephanie LauExecutive Assistant
Stephanie joined the Blue Door Shelters team in 2011 and has consistently demonstrated her passion for supporting marginalized identities, including people between homes in York Region. Stephanie pursued her current role after volunteering in a Toronto Shelter. During her BAH studies at Queen’s University, Stephanie volunteered to tutor inmates in Kingston penitentiaries and was on the executive team of Global Citizens Club, a student-driven group passionate about eliminating poverty, fighting for social justice, and advocating for universal education. Passionate in the non-profit space, Stephanie has completed the Ryerson’s Certificate Program in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management. Stephanie is committed to lifelong learning and values lessons learned from her colleagues and clients. With an eye for detail, excellent troubleshooting skills and her remarkable empathetic nature, Stephanie’s capacity to multi-task and stay calm are a gift to her team!
Ingrid Teunissen
Ingrid TeunissenLeeder Place Family Shelter Manager
Ingrid is passionate about her role at Blue Door Shelters and leads the largest shelter in York Region! Inspired by the families her team has supported over the last six years, Ingrid is a strong advocate for people who come through our doors. Ingrid has worked with vulnerable populations for 35 years and is committed to the highest quality of care at our shelters. As a proud grandmother, Ingrid understands the value of strong foundations and she is happy to build a nurturing, inclusive and responsive team. Leeder Place is a remarkable home while one is in between homes, and Ingrid is delighted by this truly amazing place.
Amanda Beaulieu
Amanda BeaulieuYork Region Youth Shelter Manager
As one of the newest members of the Blue Door Shelters management team, Amanda is bringing over 7 years experience working in the Social Services field. She was previously the Director of a transitional, residential, facility where her passion for vulnerable populations flourished. Amanda understands the value of community support and connections and spends her spare time volunteering as an OPP Auxiliary Constable. Here she participates in a variety of food, toy and clothing drives. As a proud member of the LGBTQ community, Amanda believes in advocating for diversity and marginalized populations. In addition to her BA and Bteach degrees, Amanda aspires to obtain her Masters of Social Work to further expand her knowledge in client services.
Janeen Alexander
Janeen AlexanderPorter Place Shelter Manager
Janeen joined Blue Door Shelters team in May of 2016 and serves as the manager of Porter Place men’s shelter, currently the only men’s shelter in York Region.With over 9 years of supervisory and management experience in the social services field, she has served the VAW, Child Welfare, Corrections as well as Homeless populations. Janeen strives to provide equitable considerations and access to all individuals in need of support and to facilitate a culture committed to outcome driven solutions. Janeen also volunteers with Girls Incorporated promoting literacy and opportunity for girls as well as Aegis House developing and facilitating early intervention programs for young girls experiencing violence or sexual exploitation.
Sylvia Diep
Sylvia DiepFinance and Facilities Manager
Sylvia wears multiple hats at BDS and quietly gets big things done. She provides leadership to our valuable Support Services Team to ensure that our clients reside in safe, clean, and healthy environments. From managing our facilities to ensuring that meals are planned and prepared in a timely fashion for more than 100 residents three times a day, Sylvia’s attention to detail and her strong work ethic are truly a gift. Sylvia has extensive years of experience as a manager in corporate finance and her strong organizational skills allow her to also manage financial reporting to our funders. Sylvia values challenge and is constantly looking for ways to enhance processes at our shelters. We love that!