Staff Profiles

Sharon Schmidt – Program Director

Sharon Aug 2016Sharon grew up a preacher’s kid, spent twenty years in pastoral ministry, and served the church across Canada by equipping leaders and providing resources, particularly in mission.  Despite all this good work, she felt disconnected from her community . During a summer of transition, Sharon spent time discerning who God was leading her to, and realized that it was refugees!   In the fall of 2007, she joined the Welcome Home team to welcome newly arrived refugees.

Sharon became the Program Director in 2008 and leads the team, builds the network of partnering churches and oversees the day-to-day operations of the home, while always making time to build supportive relationships with the refugees who make Welcome Home their home.


 Stephanie Schreuders- Program Support Coordinator


Steph website photoAfter starting at Welcome Home as a live-in intern in 2014, Stephanie is excited to be back as part of the Welcome Home team now as the Program Support Coordinator. Her role focuses on working with volunteers, while also providing support to the refugee residents and staff, coordinating events and the weekly house dinner. Stephanie is excited to be a part of a community that welcomes newcomers, journeying with them during this season of transition.




Alana Westervelt- Intern

alana photoaAlana was born and raised in Waterloo Region and is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in International Development. Alana loves to travel and experience new cultures. She has recently worked in Tanzania on community based projects and has been a repeat volunteer with Youth with a Mission in Kenya. Having experienced some of the challenges of finding your place in a new country, Alana is passionate about building intentional community for new comers to Canada, especially refugees. Her desire is to learn more about the challenges refugees face in Waterloo Region and to help refugees to overcome these hurdles as an integral part of the fabric of the Region.



Noel Bedford- Intern

noel photoaNoel grew up in Waterford Ontario before travelling to Waterloo to study Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He ended up graduating with an Honours degree in Music with a Church Music and Worship specialization in 2015. He spent the next few years working while attempting to discern what plan God had for him. He first heard about the Welcome Home intern position while volunteering with his small group and immediately thought that he would be a good fit. He believes strongly in helping others and looks forward to meeting new friends and sharing his passions for music and baking.