Executive Director, Red Door Family Shelter


Red Door Family Shelter (RDFS) is seeking a strategic, driven, and supportive social sector leader as its next Executive Director. Building on its 40-year history as a sector-leading organization that delivers high impact, client-centred programs and services and its positive reputation in the community and with funders, the Executive Director will work collaboratively with staff, senior volunteers, and the community, building upon and honouring the rich history of RDFS while inspiring growth and innovation to create and drive the next chapter of the organization.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will bring vision and a forward-thinking approach as they oversee the development of RDFS’s new strategic plan, associated operational plans and budgets, program and service delivery, and administration of the organization.

The successful candidate will foster a culture of collaboration and integration ensuring alignment of strategy and direction across the organization leading a capable, passionate, and committed management team that supports the work of over 100 staff across three locations.  The new incumbent will bring an inclusive and team-oriented style; guiding, coaching, and empowering staff to reach personal and organization-wide goals. An advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Executive Director will demonstrate intercultural competence and value and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives.

The Executive Director will build and cultivate effective partnerships with donors, government, community partners, media, and other stakeholders to grow revenue, enhance the profile of RDFS, and ensure its high level of program and service delivery in order to achieve its vision to end family homelessness one family at a time.

Red Door Family Shelter are staff are working in the office at this time. The organization will look to the Executive Director to provide leadership on the appropriate model for the future.


Since 1982, the Red Door Family Shelter has provided emergency shelter and support for women and children affected by domestic abuse, families experiencing a housing crisis, and refugee claimants with nowhere else to turn.  In the early 80s, there was only one other shelter operating in Toronto. Responding to the growing need for shelter space for homeless families, the Red Door was opened in the basement of the WoodGreen United Church by a group of volunteers.  We have now grown to be one of the largest family shelters in the city, providing shelter and support to over 350 families every year.

Over 100 people stay at the Red Door’s family shelter every night and it is one of the few shelters in Toronto that provides services to families as a whole. Most of our families are women with children. Circumstances and needs determine a family’s or an individual’s length of stay. Some stay one night, while others may live at the shelter for four to six months. However, within approximately three months most families are re-established in the community and back to living independently.

When families have nowhere else to turn, they can find sanctuary and support at the Red Door – moms who have bravely fled abuse to keep their kids safe, refugees seeking sanctuary from war and violence, and families in crisis with nowhere else to go.  A dedicated and caring staff team addresses the particular needs of families in crisis. The services provided reduce the impact of homelessness and we help keep families together by providing services for the whole family, helping them to establish a stable life beyond the shelter.

Programs and Services

The Red Door Family Shelter works to address homelessness in our city by:

  • Providing housing at our two shelters
  • Providing support services for shelter residents
  • Providing support to residents when they move back into the community so that the transition to their new life is both positive and permanent.

In addition to providing emergency shelter, the Red Door provides critical support services to clients when they arrive, during their stay, and as they make the transition to independence.  We make sure that they receive necessary counselling, support, access to schools, and health care. Dedicated programming and creating safe spaces for children to heal is a priority – arts and crafts, homework help, life-skills workshops for teens, and social, and recreational opportunities for all ages provide an outlet for expression and connection. Our housing workers liaise with landlords to secure safe and affordable accommodations and fair leases for families. Later, we provide outreach services that are designed to assist families to remain housed and independent in the community.

Red Door Family Shelter is a non-profit registered charity serving the GTA. We operate a family shelter and a VAW (Violence Against Women) shelter, both in Toronto. The City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario provide the basic operational funding. Donations and private fundraising allow us to provide programs for our residents that go beyond food and shelter; programs that make life a little easier while at the Red Door and that offer tools to achieve long-term objectives.

Our Vision:

Ending family homelessness one family at a time.

Our Mission:

The mission of the Red Door Shelter is to end homelessness for each family that comes through our doors by providing a safe, temporary refuge and critical services to support them in healing, rebuilding their lives and integrating back into a community.

Our Values:

As we strive to achieve our vision and mission we are committed to:

Quality – providing high quality, client-centred programs and working towards continuous improvement on behalf of the children and families we serve.

Caring – serving our families with respect, dignity, empathy and compassion, and celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of each individual.

Advocacy – working towards ending the cycles of violence and poverty through advocacy and empowerment of our clients.

Collaboration – building effective relationships among clients, volunteers, donors and staff, and seeking opportunities to form partnerships with the broader community.

Integrity – delivering accessible, flexible, and transparent services while acting with integrity in a professional, ethical, non-judgemental, honest manner at all times.

Accountability – measuring, achieving and reporting results and using funder and donor dollars wisely.



Strategic Leadership & Governance

  • Play a key leadership role with the Board of Directors in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the next phase of the organization.
  • Provide leadership in developing programs, and financial plans with the Board of Directors and management team. Carry out plans and policies authorized by the Board within a Board Governance model.
  • Develop and drive the implantation of the operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Identify, assess, and pursue new opportunities and directions that enable the organization’s growth.
  • Ensure that the Board is informed on key successes, emerging issues, priorities, current affairs, risks, and other relevant information.
  • Support the Board in fulfilling its governance role, ensuring Board members are well oriented to operational realities.

Human Resources

  • Oversee the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures, and practices, in collaboration with the Senior Manager, Human Resources.
  • Work with the management team to determine staffing requirements (volunteer and paid staff) for effective organizational management and program delivery.
  • Monitor departmental performance against goals to ensure that progress is being made and that corrective action is taken if necessary.
  • Provide leadership support to the senior management team including recruitment, retention, and performance management.
  • Counsel and provide support to the Senior Manager, Human Resources in union negotiations, labour relations matters, and the administration of the collective agreement.
  • Foster a positive, healthy, and safe work environment in accordance with RDFS values and all appropriate legislation and regulations.

Operations, Financial & Risk Management

  • Work with the management team to prepare annual budgets for the Board’s approval; ensure sufficient financial resources to meet current requirements and business strategies and achieve future goals.
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s programs and services, in collaboration with the management team and program leads.
  • Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget, monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization and approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Board.
  • Monitor and ensure compliance with legislation, regulations, policies, and procedures applicable to organizational operations.
  • Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization’s clients, staff, management, volunteers, property, finances, goodwill, and image and implement measures to control risks.
  • Accountable for the management and maintenance of all buildings and facilities including capital planning for facilities improvements.

Community Engagement & Revenue Generation

  • Serve as the lead spokesperson and representative of the organization with media, in the community, and at relevant sector events.
  • Act as an advocate and thought leader for issues relevant to RDFS and its clients.
  • Collaborate with community groups, agencies, government, funders, and the public on shared issues and interests and in the development of strategic partnerships.
  • Develop opportunities to bring awareness to activities of the organization, its programs, and its goals.
  • Work with the Fund Development team on annual and long range fundraising plans that diversify funding sources and grow revenue.
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy by stewarding key donors and partners. Engage and leverage community contacts to build new revenue-generating relationships. 


  • Progressive senior leadership experience in the not-for-profit sector, ideally within a social service delivery setting. Knowledge and/or experience working in the shelter system is an asset.
  • Highly developed skills in governance, strategic planning and the oversight of operations and staff.
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors within a Board Governance model.
  • Proven history of developing and implementing policies, organizational infrastructure and change management activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to implement strategic and annual plans and successfully drive and manage growth.
  • Excellent people management skills with the ability to develop positive relationships with staff and a track record of building collaborative and integrated work cultures and teams.
  • Experience leading in a unionized environment with knowledge and sensitivity regarding collective agreements is an asset.
  • Accomplished networker and relationship builder with experience representing an organization to stakeholders and collaborating to build strategic partnerships.
  • Knowledge of revenue generation best practices with experience growing and diversifying revenue in a non-profit environment.
  • Strong business and financial acumen with an understanding of government and other funders.
  • Ability to identify, manage, and report on organizational risk.
  • Effective leadership skills with a well-defined sense of diplomacy, including solid negotiation, conflict resolution skills.
  • Experience creating an inclusive workplace that values diversity, equality, and inclusion.
  • Strong oral, presentation and written communication skills with the ability to engage diverse internal and external audiences.
  • Deep understanding of cycles of poverty, homelessness and violence, systemic barriers, and the systems of support.

We especially welcome those who have lived experiences and affinities that align with our clients in order to best represent their interests, including women-identifying people, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Black, Indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC), newcomers to Canada, those who have experience with homelessness and violence, and those with disabilities.


KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Red Door Family Shelter. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Ellie Rusonik, Vice President, KCI Search + Talent by email at RDFS@kcitalent.com.    

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. Interested candidates should send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by September 9, 2022. 

The Red Door is an equal opportunity agency and encourages applications from all those who wish to apply. We especially welcome those who have lived experiences and affinities that align with our clients in order to best represent their interests, including women-identifying people, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Black, Indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC), newcomers to Canada, those who have experience with homelessness and violence, and those with disabilities. Regrettably, we are not fully wheelchair accessible at our main office or our Violence Against Women shelter.  

The salary range for this position is $135,000 – $145,000.

To view the full Position Brief, visit www.kcitalent.com.

The Red Door Family Shelter requires full vaccination for all employees and volunteers.