Our mission is to demonstrate the love of Christ by: investing in people, inspiring hope, and transforming lives.
Learn More About Our Four Areas of Service:
We envision a community where all people are empowered to experience hope, connection, and positive change.
Jesus Christ is at the centre of everything we do to invest in people, inspire hope, and transform lives. Read our Statement of Faith.
Changing the lives of vulnerable people was a calling that defined Rev. Arman Wright’s lifelong work. From his service as Pastor at York Road Baptist Church in Guelph to his 15 years as Chaplain at Guelph Reformatory, to the founding of the Chapel of Hope.
In 1965, Arman had a new vision – the reintegration of men and youth in the prison system back into society. He shared this vision with the faith community in Waterloo Region, and the community quickly responded! Ray of Hope was formally founded in 1967.
In 1972, Ray of Hope gained a firm foundation when construction began on its first facility, Hope Manor (now called Ray of Hope Secure Custody) – a safe, supportive space for youth working to change their lives.
From these humble, but visionary beginnings, Ray of Hope has grown into a thriving organization that provides a wide range of life-changing services—and precious hope—to hundreds of vulnerable men, women, families, and youth each year.
Today, Jesus Christ is still at the heart of everything that Ray of Hope does in partnership with our amazing community. We’re committed to honouring Arman’s vision and carrying on his legacy in everything we do.
Meet the passionate, purpose-driven people who guide Ray of Hope’s mission each and every day.
Tonya Verburg joined Ray of Hope in August 2018 as CEO. She has been working and managing in the social service sector for over 20 years. Tonya and her husband Raymond have two amazing children, Nathan and Justine, and have lived in KW since 2012. Tonya is very passionate about the work that we do at Ray of Hope and is blessed to part of the team.
Debbie Woodhall has been an integral member of the executive team and overseeing finances for Ray of Hope since 2007. Prior to joining Ray of Hope, she spent many years developing her skills and experience at a local health care facility in Kitchener. The pulse of Waterloo Region beats strongly within Debbie, having been born, raised, and educated in the community. She says her husband Darcy and two adult children, Derek and Dana, are her best assets!
Dan Wideman joined Ray of Hope in 1989 as a part-time staff member in the Open Custody/Detention program. Over the years, Dan has transitioned through a variety of positions to his current role. Dan is married to Nancy, they have raised 3 children while living in a variety of communities in Waterloo Region since moving to the area in 1986.
Lisa joined the Ray of Hope team in September 2014. She has spent 15+ years in Human Resources field, not only working in the social services sector, but also in warehousing, distribution and manufacturing. Lisa is a hometown girl, who was born and raised in the Region and graduated from Conestoga College and the University of Guelph. She is married to Craig and together they have two wonderful children, Mackenzie and Abigail.
Meet the dedicated and diverse members of our Board of Directors. They provide strategic oversight to guide our work and further our mission.
Retired Lawyer, formerly Vice-President and Associate General Counsel, Sun Life Financial. Serving as President
Instructional Designer, University of Guelph, Educational Consultant, McMaster University. Serving as Vice-President
Senior Accountant, Accountable LLP. Serving as Treasurer
Proprietor, Heritage Design
Constable, Waterloo Regional Police Service
Firefighter, City of Kitchener Fire Department
Owner/President, Mardel Electrical & Mechanical Ltd
Director of Operations, Learning for Humanity, Retired WRDSB Elementary School Principal
Melissa Bowman, Local Outreach Coordinator, Nexus Church
Chief Financial and Investment Officer, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
Partner, Giesbrecht, Griffin, Funk and Irvine LLP
Owner/Operator, Massage Addict