Cristina Santos appointed executive director of Abrigo Centre

TORONTO, March 24 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of Abrigo Centre today announced the appointment of Cristina Santos as executive director, effective April 1, 2010.

"When we started our search, the board members wanted to ensure that the Centre's new leader understood the complexity of the organization and could hit the ground running with a fresh vision for Abrigo," said Ofelia Isabel, chair of the board of directors. "During the past year as interim executive director, Cris has proven herself as a strong and insightful leader. She has earned the respect of her colleagues, maintains excellent relationships with partner organizations and understands the value the centre delivers to the community. With Cris, the Centre is in good hands."

Santos said: "Abrigo Centre has been helping people in the community for 20 years. During this time, we've adapted as the neighbourhood has changed to offer a growing slate of services. I'm confident that we have the right team in place to continue to adjust to the growing needs of the community, and to ensure all those who enter our doors are welcomed and helped with their efforts to improve the quality of their lives."

Santos has more than 25 years' experience in the not-for-profit sector, working as an executive director, program development manager and social worker. She has been with Abrigo Centre for almost 20 years and has helped it to grow from serving 600 clients per year to almost 5,000 clients per year. Prior to joining Abrigo, Santos worked as a social worker with numerous organizations including: the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto (1987 to 1990); Earlscourt Child and Family Centre (1986 to 1987); and the department of psychiatry at Toronto Western Hospital (1985 to 1987).

Ed Graça recently resigned his long-time post as Abrigo Centre executive director.

Abrigo Centre serves more than 5,000 people every year, helping them improve the quality of their lives. Twenty qualified and versatile professional staff offer individual and group counselling as well as other services including pre-employment workshops, job placements, and community development programs that deliver integration services for newcomers and people with special needs. Specialized counselling sessions are available for victims of abuse, perpetrators of abuse, parents and families. Abrigo operates Dufferin Mall Youth Services (DMYS) - a drop-in centre for at-risk youth. Abrigo Centre has been serving the community for almost 20 years and is conveniently located in Toronto in the Dufferin Mall.

SOURCE ABRIGO CENTRE

For further information: For further information: Ana Marques, Abrigo Centre, tel: (416) 534-3434 x 232

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ABRIGO CENTRE

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