Following the announcement of the arrest of their former executive director, North House is eager to move forward, starting with a walkathon later this month.
Last Thursday (Feb. 1), Durham Regional Police announced the arrest of Ian Faulkner, 42, of Oshawa.
According to police, the investigation began in June of 2017 when North House reported that its executive director was stealing from the company.
“They indicated cash and credit card accounts were used for unauthorized personal purchases including sporting event tickets and restaurants over a five-month period. Several unauthorized cheques were also written in the name of the accused and cashed,” reads a press release from police.
Mona Emond, the current Executive Director of North House, confirmed the timing in a statement to the Brock Voice late Sunday (Feb. 4).
“Mr. Faulkner was hired in January 2017 and was in the position for only four months. He was terminated in the beginning of June as a direct result of his theft and misuse of company funds,” writes Emond.
She says the alleged theft started in January and continued until his termination. As soon as the Board of Directors was alerted to the reported misuse of funds, she says they took swift action to terminate his employment and seek police support and legal advice.
“The organization’s Board of Directors and staff were devastated by what happened. Our donors, funders and community partners were also affected by the theft. Suddenly, North House had lost its momentum,” she continues.
Emond says although they were able to recover some of the funds through insurance, North House does not expect to recoup the $55,000 in its entirety.
“North House has been left very short on funds and so in an effort to regain some financial strength and momentum, we are hosting a walkathon on Saturday, Feb. 24,” says Emond.
“We encourage all Brock, Scucog and Uxbridge community members to create a team, fundraise and come out and walk with us. You can register at www.cnoy.org/uxbridge. We need the financial help for sure, but more than that, we need to know that the communities we serve have got our back. We’ve had a rough year.”
Emond says she was hired in September 2017 to help reinforce North House’s policies and procedures and to help guide the organization back on track.
“We have strengthened our financial policies and our process for all incoming and outgoing funds,” she says.
“With this arrest, we can finally talk openly about what happened and start moving forward. I can assure anyone who has donated in the past that we have taken every possible step to ensure this will never happen again.”
She also asks the public to remember North House is a victim in all of this.
“We didn’t choose this but I can tell you we are stronger because of it,” says Emond.
“If you care about your community and the people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, North House ensures they receive the help they need. I urge everyone to continue to donate and to help those in need in their community.”