Sharlene Law

Executive Director

Sharlene Law

Executive Director

Sharlene devotes her time to helping all walks of life, from those struggling with addiction to animals large and small. With a strong administrative background and eight years of working in outreach, her promotion to Executive Director in November 2016, was a natural fit – and an asset to our clients and their families.

When she needs to unwind, Sharlene harnesses the power of 80’s hair bands, enjoys baking cookies, loves road tripping with friends, and spending time with her two independent and adventurous adult daughters.

Bronwyn Farley

Admin

Bronwyn Farley

Admin

Bronwyn is the friendly face and voice of the Umbrella Society and is often the first point of contact for those seeking assistance. After witnessing Umbrella’s work in the community, Brownyn admittedly pestered her way into a job! She draws a great sense of privilege from helping others at their time of need and offering comfort in times of vulnerability. Bronwyn loves to spend time off with her kids, trying to get them to eat the wide variety of food she cooks, while singing along to her record player.

Evan James

Team Lead

Evan James

Team Lead

Evan draws strength from living a sober life and attributes the support of the Umbrella Society to his own recovery. As an outreach worker, he is inspired by the courage of those seeking support and their willingness to open up. Evan’s greatest sense of accomplishment comes from witnessing lives being transformed while living his own wellness journey. He is a proud father of two kids and, in his downtime, can be found drumming for the band Dryspell.

Evan is Team Lead and supervises the outreach team.

Blake Andison

Housing Manager | Corrections

Blake Andison

Housing Manager | Corrections

Blake has been in the business of helping others for the past 20 years.  Coming from a background working exclusively with youth, he brings his personal experiences and solid communication skills into the world of addictions support.  Blake’s relentless optimism, empathy and caring nature makes him a good fit for our dynamic team at the Umbrella Society.  In his personal life, Blake enjoys playing music, exercise, cooking, and spending quality time with his beautiful wife and children.

Blake manages Umbrella’s recovery houses and runs our Corrections program.

Lesley Easton

AMCS

Lesley Easton

AMCS

Lesley’s personal journey of recovery led her to an education in Mental Health & Addictions from Camosun College and gave her valuable experience in the helping field. When the opportunity to work for the Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health arose she jumped at the chance to embrace a new role.

When Lesley joined Umbrella she started working with the SAMI team and has since moved over to the AMCS team at RJH. She enjoys meeting people where they are at and helping to create connections to supports and services in the community.

When she’s not working, Lesley spends time outdoors exploring Vancouver Island and practicing yoga and meditation at her neighborhood studio.

Amy Cousineau

PANDORA CLINIC

Amy Cousineau

PANDORA CLINIC

You can find Amy at the Pandora Clinic Monday through Friday, helping patients of the clinic.

Amy’s personal recovery led her to pursue a career helping others. She completed her Mental Health and Addictions program at Camosun and immediately applied for a position with the Umbrella Society.

Amy is grateful for the support that she has received and the opportunity to connect with others on their journey.

Away from work, Amy enjoys spending time with her son, reading, and being outdoors.

 

Conor Rosen

ER | Outreach

Conor Rosen

ER | Outreach

Conor works with the Umbrella Society in the Emergency Room at Royal Jubilee Hospital and in the community providing outreach supports.
Having built a strong foundation for himself in his own recovery, Conor looks to give back what was freely given to him.  Conor enjoys acting, working out and playing the guitar.

Cait Marco

Youth Outreach | VGH AMCS

Cait Marco

Youth Outreach | VGH AMCS

Cait likes to live her life with a purpose. She believes her purpose is to somehow, in some small or large way, improve every person’s quality of life that she interacts with. Choosing a career that aligned with her purpose was an easy decision for her, and she hasn’t looked back since. She developed her knowledge through her education at Camosun College, studying Mental Health & Addictions.

When Cait isn’t working she enjoys spending time with friends, listening to music, reading a good book or spending time outdoors. It’s a bonus when she is able to combine all of those things!

Cait splits her time between VGH Addiction Medicine Consult Service on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s and works with youth in an outreach capacity outside of those hours.

Louise Takhar

RAAC | OUTREACH

Louise Takhar

RAAC | OUTREACH

After forging her own path to recovery and accessing outpatient services, Louise was drawn to a career in addictions support. With a natural ability to connect with people, an education in Mental Health and Addictions from Camosun College, and a fifteen-year career in the service industry, Louise is a natural fit for our RAAC and Outreach programs. Connecting with people at their most vulnerable and being able to offer client-centered services is the most rewarding part of her work. When she’s not working, Louise looks forward to sunny, summer days watching the Harbour Cats.

Justin Bennett

ICM TEAM | Cooper House

Justin Bennett

ICM TEAM | Cooper House

Justin uses his personal life experience as a way to connect with individuals where they are at, and through his own recovery found a calling towards helping others.
Justin has always had a kind, compassionate, and empathetic nature which led him to successfully completing the Mental Health and Addictions Certificate program at Camosun College. Justin completed his practicum with The Umbrella Society  where he learned that his values and those of Umbrella’s were nearly identical.
Justin jumped at the opportunity to work alongside the team, moving away from a career of working in the restaurant/hospitality industry for the past 17 years.
Justin enjoys spending time with his beautiful daughter walking their dog, going to the beach, and cuddling up on the couch watching movies and eating popcorn. Justin also continues nurturing his passion for cooking and baking by experimenting at home trying to push the envelope of his own (and his daughter’s) tastes.
Justin works on the ICM Team and runs Cooper House.

Nicole Girvin

ICM TEAM | Hudson House

Nicole Girvin

ICM TEAM | Hudson House

Nicole completed the Mental Health and Addictions Program at Camosun and worked mostly with clients who were experiencing mental illness which provided her with great experience.  When the opportunity to work with Umbrella came her way she was very excited to accept the new challenge. Her empathetic nature and strong belief in meeting people where they are at has made working with the ICM Team a perfect fit for her.

Nicole runs Hudson House meetings and in a connection for the women residing in our only women’s recovery house.

In her free time Nicole enjoys spending time with her friends and family, staying active, and traveling.

Laura Shorthouse

SURF Team

Laura Shorthouse

SURF Team

Through Laura’s lived experience with addiction coupled with her education from Camosun College’s Mental Health & Addictions Program, she brings compassion, empathy, and knowledge essential to supporting others in this helping field. Laura understands and appreciates the importance of meeting individuals where they are at while honoring each and every person’s own beliefs and values in order to deliver an authentic and respectful client-centered approach.

Laura was born and raised in Victoria, BC, is a proud mother of two boys, and in her spare time, takes every opportunity to enjoy the City and surrounding outdoor spaces in the company of her family and friends.

Jake Flood

SURF Team/Salt Spring

Jake Flood

SURF Team/Salt Spring

Jake’s empathetic nature and natural ability to connect with those around him make him a great fit for the SURF team. Jake strives to improve quality of life for people experiencing addiction and mental health challenges. Jake has developed his skills and knowledge through studying mental health and addiction at University of Victoria and Camosun College.
Outside of work, Jake enjoys mountain biking, hockey and golf.

Terry Speller

Family Counselling | Foundation House

Terry Speller

Family Counselling | Foundation House

Terry has a Masters Degree in Education with a specialty in Counseling. His treatment philosophy is to see the humanity behind the person seeking recovery options – not simply the problem. Terry came to Umbrella after working in counselling and recovery because he found that the Society had an approach to treatment for addictions that he could identify with.

Terry spends his downtime strolling Victoria’s waterfront.

Brianna Law

ADMIN

Brianna Law

ADMIN

Brianna provides administrative support with Bronwyn. When Brianna isn’t working or enjoying our beautiful island with friends, you will likely find her exploring the world, preparing for her next adventure and continuing her learning. Every day is a school day!

Dottie Stott

Casual | Weekend Support

Dottie Stott

Casual | Weekend Support

For the last 10+ years, Dottie has been fortunate to work in the mental health, addictions and supportive recovery field. Being engaged, ready to help and encourage others with compassion and kindness makes Dottie a perfect addition to the Umbrella/SAMI team.

Dottie loves being mom to her two adorable kids, cooking, music and live theatrical productions. One of her favourite quotes is “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” Les Miserables.

During the COVID 19 pandemic, Dottie is providing support to individuals who join our ZOOM group and that need some additional supports on the weekends. 

Bruce Budden

Outreach

Bruce Budden

Outreach

As a former resident of Foundation House, Bruce credits his remarkable recovery to Umbrella Society. Their hands on, humanistic approach to helping those who choose recovery, as well as the other residents in the house, were instrumental in his growth.

When the opportunity to give back to the house presented itself, he jumped at the chance. His personal experience, empathy, compassion and interest in seeing others succeed make him an asset to Umbrella’s team.

He volunteers for VPWAS during the week as a receptionist, with peer support being a large part of his days there.

In his spare time, Bruce loves to paint, sing, get out in nature to take photos, and make people laugh. In his mind he can still dance like a 20 year old.

During the COVID Pandemic, Bruce is providing support at various locations throughout Victoria. 

Justin Langley

Outreach

Justin Langley

Outreach

In Justin’s words, the Umbrella Society has been very important to his own personal journey of recovery.

He lived at Umbrella’s Foundation House for 2 years where he was able to strengthen his recovery from a life threatening addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Justin feels honored to join the Umbrella Society and give back to the recovery community. His empathy, open mindedness and nonjudgmental nature gives him the right approach to helping those with substance use issues find the life they truly deserve.

Justin attributes his routine to staying clean and enjoys cooking, working out, playing drums and hanging out with supportive friends he has made while in recovery.

During the COVID 19 pandemic, Justin is providing essential support to individuals living at Topaz Park and at temporary housing throughout Victoria.

Emmett Sihoe

Outreach

Emmett Sihoe

Outreach

Emmett believes that every person deserves to be treated with kindness and empathy. His passion for people and commitment to supporting others inspired him to join the amazing team at the Umbrella Society. His calm, compassionate nature makes him a great fit for a helping role and he is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community. Emmett developed his knowledge at the University of Victoria, where he is currently completing his honours degree in Psychology.

In his spare time, Emmett enjoys photography, exploring the outdoors, and the company of friends and family.

During the COVID 19 pandemic, Emmett is providing much needed support to individuals at Topaz Park and at some temporary housing locations. 

Zack Senay

Outreach

Zack Senay

Outreach

Zack cares deeply about bringing a great amount of patience and empathy to every interaction he enters. As both a recent graduate of a Psychology Undergraduate degree with Honours from the University of Victoria, and a lifetime learner, Zack has been able to build an understanding of human behaviour that accepts everybody exactly where they are at, and allows him to see the emotions and needs beneath the behaviours we all engage in. He is passionate about increasing community empathy, making him a great fit for an outreach worker with the Umbrella society.

In his spare time, he loves to connect with nature, others, and himself.

Zack is providing much needed support to individuals that are being temporarily housed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. 

Brae Carnes

Outreach

Brae Carnes

Outreach

After being shown the way to a better life, Brae decided it was time to put her experiences to use and help those in the midst of their addictions. Brae received her education as a care worker at Camosun College and also works as a Cosmetologist. Brae is an active advocate for Transgender rights and LGBTQ issues, always looking for new ways to support her community. When not at work Brae is often very active in the recovery community, or working on her next creative project. She loves fashion, family, and all things beautiful.

Brae is providing much needed support to individuals that are being temporarily housed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. 

Krista Weckl

Outreach

Krista Weckl

Outreach

Krista is passionate about sharing her experience, strength and hope and is committed to helping others in their journey in kind and understanding ways.

Krista has lived in several different cities across Canada throughout her life and has gained much knowledge about the beautiful country we live in and is very grateful to reside in Victoria.

Krista enjoys catching up with her son, family and friends, spending time with her horse named Dude and outdoor activities like hiking and swimming.

TJ

TJ

TJ started his journey with Umbrella as the house dog at Foundation House. When his favourite residents were moving to our third stage house, Cooper House, TJ joined them and is loving the quieter, less busy, house. He is a sweet, playful rescue dog who came to us via the Victoria Humane Society. TJ did not have a good start in life, and he is weary of strangers and has significant anxiety. The residents enjoy spoiling TJ with lots of walks, lots of treats and lots of love.

Lyca

Lyca

Lyca moved into Foundation House after TJ moved to Cooper House. Lyca, a rescue dog, is the most loving, sweet dog who greets every resident with kisses and a wiggly butt. She brings love to companionship to all the men, and makes Foundation House feel like home.