Our Team

Our Steering Committee

Ed Bentley, B.A., M.Div. is a retired minister of The United Church of Canada who has given leadership in a variety of community groups and organizations, especially in social service, social justice, child welfare and health care. He is currently a member of the Rights and Ethics Committee of Community Living Belleville & Area, Quinte Health Care’s Spiritual Health Care Advisory Committee, the Community Advisory Board for federal homelessness funding in Belleville, the Poverty Roundtable’s Steering Committee and he is Board Co-Chair of Peer Support South East Ontario.

Tami Downes, a member of the Poverty Roundtable Steering Committee is a welcome and qualified contributor. She has lived experience and looks forward to helping shape the work of the PRT. Tami is passionate about speaking from experience to educate and empower her community. As VP of CanGrands National Kinship Support Group she is working toward the elimination of Poverty, assisting Kinship families and Grandparents who are raising young family members and/or grandchildren. Tami is also a Chapter Leader for the Local Grandparents support group. Currently sitting on the following committees within PRT: Affordable Housing Working Group, Food Security Working Group and Education Committee.

Frank Hiebert, an active member of the Affordable Housing Working Group, serves as its representative on the Poverty Roundtable HPE steering committee. With community interest an ongoing passion, he has spent the past thirty years volunteering in a variety of community service endeavours. These include the local YMCA and the Y Service Club (formerly the Y’s Men’s Club), Community Visions and Networking, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Quinte Rowing Club, Bridge Street United Church and the Quinte Living Centre.

Brandi Hodge, as a trained social service worker (SSW), has been actively involved in the social service sector for over 25 years. She has held progressively responsible positions in organizations that work with children, seniors, community impact and fundraising. She is the Director of Community Engagement at United Way Hastings & Prince Edward. Brandi is responsible for strategic initiatives, community investment and partnership building, research, evaluation, and capacity building. Brandi is a self-professed policy geek and has assisted a range of non-profits in organizational improvement initiatives such as board development, governance, strategic planning, and the development of policies and procedures.

Ruth Ingersoll has worked and/or volunteered in the social service sector for over 35 years and is currently the Executive Director of Community Development Council of Quinte. She serves and is active on many networks and committees both locally and provincially. Ruth believes in community and considers it a privilege to be part of a community organizing itself to affect positive change, growth and development.

Cathy McCallum, BN, retired in 2014 from the local health unit after 35 years in health promotion in this community (HPE). As a program manager in Chronic Disease Prevention, Cathy led an interdisciplinary team and worked with community partners on a number of collaborative initiatives aimed at creating a healthy community, including healthy public policy work. Cathy has been a member of the former Food Security Network of HPE, affordable housing networks in both counties, the Healthy Communities Partnership, and is a founding member of the Poverty Roundtable.

Deirdre McDade, B.A., LL.B, is a senior staff lawyer and Co-Director of Legal Services at the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre where she focuses on income security and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board matters. She is a founding member of the Poverty Roundtable. CALC is a non-profit community legal clinic with a long history of working with other community organizations to create a stronger social safety net, foster community networks and develop strategic approaches to poverty, affordable housing and access to justice.


The Poverty Roundtable is grateful to the Community Development Council of Quinte for taking on the role of lead agency for the “Creating Community: Informing our Poverty Reduction Strategy” Project (February 2016 – 2019).

The Poverty Roundtable is grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding the “Creating Community: Informing our Poverty Reduction Strategy” Project to help us take action on poverty in our communities.

65 Station St.
Belleville, ON K8N 2S6