Our Team


Mary Jo Leddy, Founder (mjl@romerohouse.org)

Mary Jo is active in human rights issues and the peace movement. She is a writer, a teacher, and an advocate for many. She is also a recipient of the Order of Canada. Mary Jo has published a number of books, several of which feature or reflect on the work and life of Romero House. She is also renowned for her creative use of leftovers in making delicious meals, and her dedication to our neighbourhood.



Jenn McIntyre, Director


In her role as the Director of Romero House, Jenn is fortunate enough to both be an administrator and community builder—a perk of a live-in position! Hailing from Western Canada, Jenn is a lover of cooking and eating delicious food from all over the world, listening to the CBC and exploring Toronto on her bicycle. She is also a big fan of Romero House dance parties.


Alexandra Jimenez, Administration and Finance Manager 


Alexandra has been part of the Romero community since 2002. She has served Romero House for many years in several roles including Bookkeeper, Finance Director, and most recently Administration and Finance Manager. Alexandra is an avid fan of the Blue Jays, and supports the Colombian soccer team. In her spare time, she loves biking and being part of the Romero House community.


Our Current Interns:

The following interns will be living and working at Romero House from September 2016 – July 2017.

SAM_3863Brenna Sobanski 


Brenna grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and is back in Toronto for a second year as an intern. Brenna studied History of Science and Technology and Social Anthropology at the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University, both in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After leaving the east coast she taught English in an elementary school in northern Germany for a year. Having always had an interest in immigration and refugee related work, Brenna was delighted to learn about Romero House’s internship program. She feels particularly drawn to Romero House because of its focus on community and living together with refugees as neighbours. Brenna is happy to be back in the warm and welcoming community that she was able to call home last year and is excited to begin another year.

Brenna spends her time working on financial donations, education and advocacy programs, fundraising initiatives and working to maintain our buildings, properties and gardens.


Hannah Deloughery 

Before coming to Romero House last year, Hannah was working on her Master’s in International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Her research focused primarily on Child Labour in Ghana, which was born from experiences visiting and working in Ghana over the last few years as well as an academic background in Human Rights. Hannah felt pulled to apply to the Internship Program at Romero House as a way to serve refugees in Canada and live in community with others. The work and life at Romero House in her first year was energizing, life-giving, and full of learning. This is what has led her to return for another year as an intern.

Hannah focuses on public education and advocacy, programming for children in detention centres, housing initiatives and community life planning.



Matthew Plouffe 


Born and raised in Canada, Matthew went to University and worked in Guelph.  Before coming to Romero House, he enjoyed opportunities to work for several great organizations, including the YMCA, and also had the chance to try many new things.  After his studies, Matthew was looking for a place where he could do some great work and be a part of an excellent community. Romero House seemed like the natural fit and he arrived as an intern in 2015.  In his first year, he enjoyed meeting all of the inspiring people who are involved in this community and his year spent learning from others has led him to return for another year as an intern.

Matthew spends his time on housing, coordinating our walk-in program, furniture donations, continuing education, and is working to plan our year-end street party.



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Jeff Cheng (jeff@romerohouse.org)

Jeff is one of the new members of the Romero House community joining us in September of 2016. Prior to his arrival, he spent the past years studying at the University of Guelph focusing specifically on economics and international development. After graduating, Jeff’s keen interest in current events and desire to join an organisation pursuing social justice initiatives led him to join the Romero House team.  His interests include working and volunteering in emergency management positions as well as finding a way to explore the northern parts of Ontario.

At Romero House, Jeff is responsible for supporting our maintenance manager, is our financial assistant, plans bicycle donations, maintaining our vehicles and working on public education initiatives.



Ellen Fowler (ellen@romerohouse.org)

While she may be new to the full year internship program beginning in September of 2016, Ellen has already spent time with Romero House as a summer intern in 2015. Ellen grew up in Waterloo, Ontario and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia to study Political Science and History at the University of King’s College. Ellen spent the past year working as an English teacher for primary students in Northern France and volunteered over the summer at a shelter for migrants and refugees in Mexico City.  She is thrilled to be returning to this vibrant community after spending a year away.  When she’s not at her desk, Ellen can generally be found dancing in the kitchen (or her bedroom, or the grocery store) and trying to come up with something silly to do.  She is so looking forward to sharing her life over the coming year with so many kindhearted and interesting people.
Ellen spends her time organizing Romero House’s kids’ program, clothing donations, public education events, and the detention centre children’s program.
You Sung Chae you sung.png
New to our team is You Sung, who has joined us from her home of Seoul, Korea. She has been to Canada three times and has always enjoyed her time here. While completing her studies in political science at Kyung Hee University in Seoul she worked at an organization that supported refugees in her home country. When a former intern of Romero House told her about the internship program, she found it too good to pass up due to the admiration she had for the stories and courage of refugees. She had loved her past experience tremendously and is incredibly excited to be a part of our amazing community. You Sung likes to go to performances of musicals and concerts and also is quite a fan of the gorgeous natural landscapes the Canadian wilderness offers.
You Sung coordinates Second Harvest, maintains statistics of our walk in program, grocery shops for the staff and is a member of the communications team.
fiona.pngFiona Friel
Joining us from across the pond is Fiona Friel who hails from Glasgow, Scotland. Fiona studied politics and sociology at the University of the West Scotland, with a year spent at Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary. In addition to her interest in education, Fiona is a fan of hiking, sitting down with a good book, and both playing and listening to music. She was eager to join the Romero House team after finding out what the organization does and knowing that it would give her the opportunity to work with refugees and learn about the complexities of the refugee determination process. She was very interested to move to Canada for several reasons, both to experience life within a different culture and to find out which is the most beloved Canadian symbol: the beaver or maple syrup.
While at Romero House Fiona will be responsible for coordinating our volunteer program, managing our messages, scheduling community use for our centre, and grocery shopping for our staff.  She will also be planning our annual street party.
David Cerenzia
Dave was born in Toronto and lived in Newmarket, Ontario. He went to the University of Guelph where he studied History and Political Science. Dave is an avid hockey fan who enjoys the pleasure associated with heavy amounts of sarcasm. When contemplating what he would do following the conclusion of his studies he decided to pursue opportunities revolving around social justice and human rights. He also hoped to provide aid and support to the current refugee crisis. After a Google search of “Toronto and Refugees,” he stumbled across our internship program, applied, and decided to join us this September.
 Dave is working on IT, communications, fundraising, and furniture donations.
Jonathan Gordon-Chow

Born and raised in Toronto, Jonathan joins us at Romero House as our 2017 Summer Intern. Entering the final year of his studies at McGill University in Montreal, Jonathan is pursuing a degree in Middle East Studies with a double minor in International Development and Music Composition. In addition to this, Jonathan’s personal research interests include international relations, Canadian immigration policy and social programming directed towards refugee

claimants. Jonathan is looking forward to engaging with the residents at Romero House from all around the world and welcoming them to Canada. Prior to joining us at Romero House, Jonathan spent the past three summers as a tree planter in Northern British Columbia as well as working as an English tutor for Syrian refugees at Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) in Toronto. Outside of his work and studies, you can find Jonathan spending his free time listening to music, cooking, reading and scheming up various plans to travel the world.

Jonathan will be responsible for community outreach, summer camp programming, various housing initiatives and organizing the Romero House Scotia Bank Marathon fundraiser.