Building Resilient Community
by Connecting People
Meet the Staff
Gladys Flores, B.Ed., OCT
C0hildren and Youth Program Coordinator
I am a graduate of the University of Guelph and received my Bachelor of Education from Trent University in Peterborough. It had always been my goal to work as a History/Geography teacher until I found the opportunity to work for Welcome Inn as the Coordinator of Children’s Programs. During my time here I have used my background in education to work with local youth and as a lifelong “North Ender” I value the opportunity to give back to a neighbourhood that has given so much to my family and I. What I did not anticipate was how much I would benefit from becoming a part of the community here at Welcome Inn. I have found friendship, support, and gained personal and professional skills to better serve my community. It has been a joy and challenge.
Volunteer & Seniors Program Coordinator
My name is Ruth Kaulback and I live in the north end of Hamilton with my husband and two daughters. We love our neighbourhood. It is creative, vibrant and diverse. One of our favourite things about our community is that it is full of surprises and never boring! I enjoy gardening, reading, and spending time with friends at neighbourhood coffee shops…
I have always been drawn to Welcome Inn Community Centre and what it stands for. I love how people are welcomed unconditionally….and how everyone is encouraged to develop their strengths and gifts and to use them to see what could happen. It is a place full of possibility….
Coordinator of New Horizons Thrift Store
My love for Hamilton made me a full time resident! I’ve been living in the North End with my family for the last five years. We bought a home that needed to be completely renovated and we’ve been working away at it since day one.
My husband – a teacher – and I always planned on buying a house in Hamilton to be close to our extended families. We love our home, the Bayfront and the vibrant North End community. We’ve enjoyed the hospitality of the people here at various community events so I am really happy to get involved.
When I joined Welcome Inn in January of this year, I was switching careers and coming off of a maternity leave. That can be difficult for anyone but with the amazing people at the Welcome Inn community it was easy to adjust to my new surroundings.
The Welcome Inn Community Centre provides so much for the north end. Living in the North end and being surrounded by such a diverse community it is important for me to create awareness of the Welcome Inn Community Centre and New Horizons. I want the community to know that all proceeds from New Horizons support the programs at the Welcome Inn, and I would like to invite everyone to come to the store and pick up a great deal in support of this organization!
Community Program Coordinator
I am a Hamiltonian born and raised! I feel so privileged to be able to raise my family in this amazing city, specifically in the North End. My creativity, love of community and my ability to see the potential in all, makes the North End an ideal landing spot for me.
My background is in Nursing, with a focus in Acute Mental Health, but have spent the last 8 years raising my two children. Being creative is a major part of my life… Knitting, sewing, bookbinding and paper craft are just a few of my hobbies. I am so excited to combine my skills and creativity along with the skills and creativity that we have in our community to build an amazing space here at Welcome Inn.
The importance of family and the idea of community as family has always been a huge part of the way I live my life. From the moment I walked through the doors of Welcome Inn I felt like part of this community that feels like a big family. A family that is so accepting and unique. I am thrilled to be a part of the Welcome Inn team and look forward to all the possibilities to come!
James VanderBerg, M.A.
Collaboration and community involvement are two passions of mine! When I worked at the University of Guelph, I coordinated the justice-related activities of the different faith communities on campus, and I connected students with organizations across the city. We are all need to work together to make our communities more welcoming and inclusive, and safe and inviting.
I am a father of four and an outdoor enthusiast, passionate about canoe-tripping, white-water thrills and running. (Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment). Over the years, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for local poetry and writings from within the aboriginal community. Storytelling is one of the most human endeavours, and I believe all voices are important. This is true at Welcome Inn, too!
Tom Wittreich, B.Ed., OCT
Teen LEAD Facilitator
As a native Burlington resident, I have spent the last eight years going to school, volunteering and working in Hamilton which I hope qualifies me as a proud Hamiltonian! After graduating from McMaster, I went on to receive a degree from Brock University in education. While I was in school I began volunteering with the LAF program here at the Welcome Inn and five years later I’m still here! I fell in love with the people and the neighborhood and hope to stay for many more years to come. When I am not at the Welcome Inn, I love watching the Toronto Raptors play and occasionally strum my guitar.