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Meet our Staff


Paula became executive director of MCM after several years as a community worker, developing housing for the homeless and rooming house population.


As director, Paula has accompanied MCM through many structural changes that include the creation of two Legal Clinics and a new area of intercultural and interfaith collaboration.


Paula has a Master's in 'intervention sociale' from UQÀM, and was ordained a United Church minister in 2013. She is an accredited supervisor of social work and theology students and has acted as an accreditor of national community ministries for the United Church of Canada. 

Anwar Alhjooj

Assistant Director &

Coordinator of Maa'n / Together & Family Zone Programs

MCM Coordinator Anwar Alhjooj

Trained as a lawyer in Italy and after practicing law in Israel, Anwar moved to Montreal and completed a Master's of Social Work at McGill University.


Since 2016, Anwar has been the coordinator of Maa'n-Ensemble, MCM's intercultural program, spearheading projects such as Women Weaving their Dreams, Catering Collective and Season-Saisons newcomer men's group.


Anwar's fluency in Arabic and Hebrew has facilitated interfaith relations and community building. In 2021, Anwar was named MCM Assistant Director.

Anwar Alhjooj

Olga Houde

Coordinator of the Legal Clinics Just Solutions & Roger Snelling

Legal Clinics Coordinator Olga Houde

Olga started working at MCM in 2015 managing the Senior's Legal Clinic, and in 2016 was appointed coordinator of both the Just Solutions and Roger Snelling Seniors Legal Clinics.


In 2018, Olga established a partnership with a downtown shelter for women victims of domestic violence to provide staff training and individual interventions with the residents who are vulnerable migrants.


Olga's multi-cultural immigration background, as well as her mastery of several languages including Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian facilitate our work with the diverse population served by the clinics.


She has an educational background in political science, international studies and law. She worked previously at the International Bureau for Children's Rights.

Olga Houde

Louise Olivier

Legal Clinic Caseworker

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Louise has been working with vulnerable persons and migrants for over 10 years.


After completing her law degree in Europe, she worked for organizations like the UNHCR and the Red Cross. She then started working in immigration holding centers in France for a few years, helping migrants and asylum seekers with their legal proceedings and appeals.


Louise joined MCM in June 2017, where she continues to work as a legal caseworker for our Legal Clinics. She mostly gives legal information in the field of refugee law and humanitarian immigration law and accompanies vulnerable migrants with their immigration file.

Louise is currently on maternity leave.

Anthony Rouget
Legal Clinic Caseworker

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Anthony works with vulnerable persons, migrants, and asylum seekers to help with their legal proceedings and appeals.


Anthony joined MCM in June 2017, where he continues to work as a legal caseworker for our Legal Clinics. He mostly gives legal information in the field of refugee law and humanitarian immigration law and accompanies vulnerable migrants with their immigration file.

Rick Goldman

Supervising Lawyer

Supervising Lawyer Rick Goldman

Rick Goldman began working as Supervising Lawyer of the Just Solutions Legal Clinic in 2005. This part-time position involves serving as a resource person for Clinic staff persons as well as students doing placements at the clinic.


Rick has worked as a lawyer in the community sector for more than 30 years. He has served as Staff Lawyer at several community groups.


Rick currently also works with Éducaloi, a non-profit organization that aims to explain the law to Quebecers in an understandable manner.

Rick Goldman

Arwa joined MCM in 2019 as Outreach Coordinator in the Maa’n intercultural program.


With her background in the field of education, along with her personal experience, Arwa has helped establish a line of communication between refugees/newcomers and Canadians in multiple projects. In 2020, she organized over 10 in-person and online projects and is committed to community engagement.

Palestinian born, Arwa worked as a teacher in Saudi Arabia before coming to Canada. Arwa has a long history of advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in the educational, arts and cultural sectors.


Arwa Younis

Paul Clarke
Fundraising Consultant

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Paul worked for over 3 decades in the banking industry, many years as a branch manager. He then accompanied refugeed people and advocated for refugee rights as Executive Director of Action Réfugiés Montréal for over eight years. 


An active member of Cedar Park United Church, Paul now supports our fundraising activities on a part-time basis.

Peter holds a law degree from New York University and a Master's of Social Work from McGill. He has been working with marginalized people in various capacities at Montreal community organizations since 2012.

Peter is the Socio-legal Caseworker at the Committee to Aid Refugees (CAR), which since 2022 has been based at the MCM. In this capacity he collaborates closely with the MCM and its Legal Clinics on both individual casework and collective advocacy.

In addition to his work with migrants and refugees, Peter is an organist and Director of Music at St. Philip's Anglican Church in Montreal West.

Layla started working with MCM in October of 2022. She is responsible for ensuring the day-to-day activities of the organization run smoothly. This consists of controlling correspondence, renewing and approving supply requisition, and managing the website as well as fundraising and donations.


Layla is currently studying Biology and Professional Writing at Concordia University.

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors

MCM has a Board of 10 members who bring fresh perspectives and skills to guide the organization. They are from diverse backgrounds including members of the United Church of Canada, community representatives, as well as people who have benefited in the past from MCM programs. 

Rev. Wendy Evans


MCM Board Chair Wendy Evans

Wendy Evans serves as board chair for Montreal City Mission. She is an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada and has an adjunct faculty role at United Theological College.


Wendy has served in a variety of global justice contexts over the years and is passionate about the ‘heart work’ of relationship building in the justice movement for all creation. 

Royal Orr

Past Chair

Former MCM Board Chair Royal Orr

Royal Orr is the former Chair of the Board of MCM and Chair of the Joint Grants Committee of the United Church of Canada Foundation and General Council.


He farms in Hatley, Quebec.

Heather McShane


MCM Board Member Heather McShane

Heather McShane Ph.D. is the Program Director and Catalyst-in-Chief for McGill University’s Sustainability Systems Initiative where she and her team develop and support a cross-disciplinary network of sustainability researchers.


With master’s and doctorate degrees in soil chemistry, she is passionate about sustaining soil fertility and balancing human needs with those of non-humans, both plant and animal, with whom we share the world.


As well as being a board member of both MCM and Camp Cosmos, Heather is a board member of ECOLE - McGill’s student community-living project - and a mentor for Youth Employment Services Montreal.

Mary Sweeny 


MCM Treasurer Mary Sweeny

Mary is a chartered accountant who works in the Eastern Townships.

Nicole Ives

Professor Nicole Ives

Nicole Ives is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, McGill University and Co-Founder of Indigenous Access McGill.


Dr. Ives’ areas of research include migration issues, particularly refugee resettlement, and Indigenous social work education and Indigenous social and educational policies.


Current research projects include post-secondary education experiences of Indigenous youth; Syrian refugee long-term health outcomes in Canada; integration experiences of refugee claimants in Quebec; and refugee children’s experiences of belonging in a recreational setting.

Jessica Polasi

MCM Board Member Jessica Polasi

Jessica Polasi connected with MCM in 2012 for assistance with her refugee file. In 2018, her humanitarian application, was finally accepted.

In the beginning of 2021 Jessica was invited to become a member of the MCM board which she graciously accepted because she wanted to represent this important organization.


Jessica is looking forward to working alongside MCM and changing lives of her fellow immigrants who come to Canada for a better life and the safety of their families.

Ehab Lotayef

IT Manager Ehab Lotayef

Ehab Lotayef is an IT Manager, poet, writer and community activist. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Ain-Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. Ehab has been working at McGill University, as an IT manager, since 1999.


Before joining McGill, Ehab worked for internationally renowned companies, in Canada and abroad, including Schlumberger, Linotype and Pratt & Whitney.


Ehab is deeply involved in social and community work. 

Logan Littlefield

Saint James United Church Member Logan Littlefield

Logan is a landscape architect and practices at a design firm in Montreal. He is a member of Saint James United Church which shares a close relationship with MCM.


Logan has lived and worked in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, the UK, Lebanon, and South Africa.


He is committed to social justice, the rights of the marginalized, faith-based community work, and ensuring the built and natural environment responds to the needs of a multicultural and multi-faith society. 

Rev. Neil Whitehouse

Westmount Park United Church Minister Neil Whitehouse

Rev. Neil Whitehouse is a minister of Westmount Park United Church, immigrant from United Kingdom, openly gay, Green and progressive Christian.

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