John Howard Society of Thunder Bay & District

About Us

Mission Statement

“Effective, just and humane responses to crime and its causes”.

The John Howard Society of Thunder Bay is a community based organization which supports people who are at risk or involved in the Criminal Justice System through service, reform, education and advocacy.

The Society aims to provide for the effective integration into the community of those at risk of or in conflict with the law through the provision of services.


In 1947 Judge McKitrick of the Family Court Division realized the need for a social work agency to help in preventing crime in the community by assisting ex-offenders upon their release. Judge McKitrick, the founder and the first President of the John Howard Society of Thunder Bay worked with a group of concerned citizens who volunteered their time to visit inmates at the District Jail. In addition to volunteers the Society had one part-time case worker.

John Howard Thunder Bay has grown steadily over the years. In 1997 we became incorporated as a charitable non-profit organization, and in 2000 the society purchased the old YMCA building and opened Howard House, a 69 unit rehabilitative residential facility for ex-offenders. In addition to providing post-charge services such as housing, discharge planning and programming, we now provide pre-charge and diversion services such as bail and community service supervision, school based diversion (EJM) and youth programming in First Nation communities.

In 2009, we moved from our old location at the YMCA building to our current home at the old Central Park Lodge building now the John Howard Society of Thunder Bay & District. We have a 47 unit rehabilitative residence where we assist those in conflict with the law, at risk of conflict with the law, or experiencing homelessness in making meaningful life change. John Howard Thunder Bay also offers community programming including Mental Health First Aid.


Board of Directors


  • Sandy Lychowyd


  • Seok Koon Chin


  • Luke Stacey


  • Paul Carr
  • Jeba Rathnaraj