Karen Sherbut

President (Volunteer)

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A less than ideal childhood and upbringing ultimately prepared Karen Sherbut for the role of her life as a role model, mentor, and humanitarian.  In this capacity she is able to provide what she so desperately had once needed; ultimately improving the lives of many young women, their families, and loved ones.  Karen’s dream of providing for homeless teenage girls came to fruition in 1996, when Karen and her husband founded The Safe Haven Foundation of Canada.  In a volunteer capacity at the helm of the Foundation, Karen’s steadfast commitment to Safe Haven Foundation continues to shape a better and brighter future for all of us.   With over 35 years of senior marketing, management, and leadership experience, Karen has been extensively involved in the development and implementation of strategic plans and financial planning at both grassroots and national levels.  An engaging and innovative leader, Karen’s focus on results-oriented programs, financial accountability, public relations, and award-winning campaigns have provided an enviable advantage to the Foundation at no cost.    Karen’s passion remains visible and reflective through the time she dedicates not only to Safe Haven Foundation but also to the many boards and advisory roles she has undertaken over the years.

Carolyn Holloway

Community Engagement Officer

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Carolyn’s intimate knowledge of the Safe Haven Foundation and her connection to the community, combined with her experience in marketing, sales and events, are invaluable to the Foundation’s fundraising and volunteer activities. Her role in managing the website, social media and overseeing advertising and marketing campaigns is an essential part of the Foundation’s communication strategy. When Carolyn rejoined the team last year she stated in part, “I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to return to Safe Haven Foundation at this significant time of growth and development. Thanks to the unwavering passion of Karen and John and the support of a great team, board members, stakeholders, donors and volunteers, so many young women have indeed been given their future back. I am honoured to have been a part of their journey and look forward to embarking on this new one.”

Larissa Goldhart

Team Coordinator

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Larissa brings over 10 years of extensive administration experience, primarily in the oil and gas sector. An astute team player with a keen eye for detail, Larissa has clearly positioned herself as our go to and communications central leader for the entire team at Safe Haven Foundation.  After an intensive search of over 275 candidates, she presented as a shining star with her far-reaching skills in organizational and financial matters as well as a critical eye for detail. Larissa states that, “I am incredibly honoured, and feel so very fortunate, to have a place with Safe Haven Foundation. I am thrilled to be a part of the many exciting things that are in the works, and it is so rewarding to work with an organization that truly wants to make a difference in the world”.

Heidi Walter, BSW, RSW

Program Development Officer (Part-Time)

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Heidi has worked in the youth homelessness sector for over 19 years, 17 of which she spent at the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary managing their Housing First programs. She currently uses her expertise to in program development with the Safe Haven Foundation in Calgary and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, conducting trainings and fidelity reviews as a CAEH trainer. Heidi supports A Way Home Canada and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness through consultation work with the Making The Shift Demonstration Lab. Throughout her career–from studying Social Work to working in community development, managing programs, and program implementation, and now providing consultation, training, and technical assistance to communities across Canada–Heidi has been passionate about supporting youth and families to thrive, ensuring youth have a voice throughout. She is devoted to sharing her learnings, providing support, and building community across the youth homelessness sector.

Krista Mergel

Program Manager (Part-time)

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Krista brings over 10 years in the field working with homeless youth. She leads the Haven’s Way team with passion and thrives on innovation and creativity. She is the program Manager, coaching the staff team and overseeing the inner workings at the program. Krista has a vision for community mobilization and will be quick to talk about our work at Safe Haven Foundation. She has a desire to ignite interest and help our communities feel apart of the work happening in the lives of the youth we support. It is her belief that there is nothing we cannot do when we are working together.

Kathy Matthews

Live-in Houseparent

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Kathy joined has been a wonderful gift to all of us, and especially the girls in Haven’s Way, since joining the program in July 2019.  As long as Kathy can remember she has had a passion to help youth in crisis, most likely because she was once in their position, she carries in her arsenal thirty plus years of experience working with youth in many critical settings, from incarceration to special needs/poverty stricken youth in Uganda, Africa.  Her undying desire, love and compassion to nurture and encourage the girls at Haven’s Way is more than a passion…it’s become a core value.  Using her gifts and talents, she hopes to inspire the girls to reach their fullest potential to lead happy, healthy and productive lives where they too can be a change in our world.