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Human Services Planning Board of York Region

The Human Services Planning Board of York Region (the Board) is a York Region led, multi-sector collaborative comprised of leaders and decision makers from social service agencies, funders, government and the education, health care and private sectors.

The Council approved mandate of the Board is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of human services in York Region through capacity building and collaborative advocacy. The mission is to enhance community health and well-being by fostering synergies, innovation and ideas amongst its members.

New term of Human Services Planning Board (HSPB) appointed by Regional Council

Appointed for a four-year term, the members of the 2019-2022 Human Services Planning Board are:

Regional Government Sector

Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Regional Municipality of York
John Taylor, Mayor, Town of Newmarket
Mario Ferri, Regional Councillor, City of Vaughan
Jack Heath, Regional Councillor, City of Markham

Education Sector

Mary Battista, Superintendent of Education: School Leadership, York Catholic District School Board
Cecil Roach, Coordinating Superintendent of Education, Indigenous Education and Equity, York Region District School Board
Dr. Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

Healthcare Sector

David Stolte, Vice President, Strategy and Redevelopment, Mackenzie Health
Rebecca Shields, CEO, Co-Chair, Canadian Mental Health Association
Kim Baker, CEO, Central Local Health Integration Network

Community Safety Sector

Eric Jolliffe, Chief, York Regional Police
Chunilall (Robin) Doobay, York Regional Police Services Board

Non-Profit Community Organizations Investment Sector

Pedro Barata, Senior Vice President, Community Impact and Strategy, United Way Greater Toronto
Michael Braithwaite, CEO, Blue Boor Shelters (effective March 18, 2019)

Children, Youth and Family Services Sector

Clovis Grant, CEO, 360°kids
Dean Rokos, Executive Director, York Hills Centre for Children, Youth and Families

Seniors/Healthy Aging Sector

Christina Bisanz, CEO, Community & Home Assistance to Seniors

Training-Education/Labour Market/Business Community Sector

Darryl Gray, Director of Education and Training, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Tracy Macgregor Walter, President and CEO, Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce representative
Al Wilson, Executive Director, Workforce Planning Board of York Region

Community and Social Support Based-Services Sector

Christin Cullen, Executive Director, John Howard Society of York Region
Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto
Liora Sobel, Executive Director, Women’s Centre of York Region
Colleen Zakoor, Executive Director, Community Living Central York

Human Services Planning Board of York Region’s 2016 to 2018 Action Plan

The Human Services Planning of York Region 2016 to 2018 Action Plan focuses on improving health and well-being for low and moderate income residents by addressing two community result areas:

  1. Housing options that are affordable for everyone in our community
  2. Progressive employment opportunities in a changing economy

It builds on the direction set in Making Ends Meet in York Region: A Road Map for 2015 to 2018.

Between 2016 and 2018, Board members worked together to implement collective actions in eight areas (four areas for housing and four areas for employment). Example actions include:

Progressive Employment Community Result Area

  • Community Benefits Approaches Research Study
    Community benefits approaches research will help to identify progressive employment opportunities through workforce development and supply chain initiatives that can provide physical, social, economic and environmental benefits to the local community. Outcomes may include jobs, training and apprenticeship for targeted groups such as young graduates, newcomers, internationally educated professionals and disadvantaged groups.
  • Career Navigator™ Program
    Career Navigator™ program provides tangible benefits to multi-barriered young adults and employers through meaningful careers in the information technology sector - United Way Greater Toronto, NPower Canada and the Region have partnered to deliver the Career Navigator™ Program in York Region. This innovative program provides life skills training and wrap around supports to help young adults access and build careers in the information technology sector. Since January 2017 in York Region:
    • 32 new employers were recruited into the NPower program
    • 85 participants were recruited into NPower’s Boot Camp program, 62 of which went on to complete the Skills Training Program
    • 41 participants from the NPower program, 90 per cent of which were placed into full-time employment within four months
    • One graduate entered into post-secondary education

Housing Options and Affordability Community Result Area

  • Advocating for More Purpose Built Rental Housing
    The Board is raising awareness about new funding opportunities to help partners increase the rental housing supply in the Region, and monitoring the new federal National Housing Strategy: A Place to Call Home and the provincial Portable Housing Benefit to understand the potential impact they may have on our housing goals
  • 212 Davis Drive Completion
    212 Davis Drive, a project incubated under the Make Rental Happen Campaign officially opened its doors in September 2017. This project was a result of a unique collaboration between York Region, Town of Newmarket and a private developer which saw the construction of 225 private purpose built rental units with 30 units subsidized for low-income households

Focus: Increasing Progressive Employment Opportunities

Progressive employment opportunities allow residents to find and sustain employment related to their education, skill level and ability. It also helps increase access to education, training and employment supports that enhance career progression and generate income at all stages of life.

A stable workforce can have positive impacts on the health and well-being of our communities by building economic resiliency and competitiveness.

Focus: Increasing Housing Affordability

The growing gap between household income and the high cost of living in York Region makes it difficult for individuals and families to make ends meet while spending as much as 30 to 50 per cent of income on shelter alone.

The Human Services Planning Board works to ease this hardship by advocating for more housing options and affordability in the Region.

Learn more by reading:

Message from the Co-chairs of the Human Services Planning Board of York Region

Making Ends Meet in York Region

Collaborative Advocacy Plan - Make Rental Happen: Creating the Conditions to Build Private Market Rental Housing

Year in Review 2011 Turning Talk to Action: A Community Model for Change

The Making Ends Meet in York Region Baseline Measures: Turning the Curve report


The Human Services Planning Board of York Region holds two types of meetings:

  • Full membership meetings
  • Member working sessions

Full membership meetings are open to the public, while member working sessions are attended by appointed members or by invitation.


Housing,affordable,advocacy,community engagement,community initiative,human services,capacity building,planning board The Regional Municipality of York en-US Human Services Planning Board of York Region The Human Services Planning Board is a collaboration of key human service organizations, agencies, networks and community leaders whose focus includes building capacity in the human services sector and advocating for both adequate and timely funding.

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