Project team

Naeem Farooqi

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Naeem is a principal consultant with WSP advisory practice focusing on transit asset management. Naeem’s specialty and passion circulates around all thing’s heavy duty in particular the transit bus. He has over 12 years’ experience working in the industry and is guiding the project with an amazing team of dedicated volunteers.



  Why did I get Involved:

I noticed homelessness across Toronto as I walked to work every day and at the same time noticed the transit bus at end of life was being sold for scrap metal and thought of a temporary solution with my team and invited like-minded people together to explore the idea. The support we have gotten is overwhelming from the industry, in transit we are a family and we take care of our own, which is what motivates me on the project to give back.

-Naeem Farooqi

Manahil Pasha

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 Manahil Pasha is a writer and content creator who is passionate about untold narratives and innovation in storytelling. She has recently graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and professional writing from the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Manahil is project manager of the Shelter Bus project and is working to ensure that nobody is left behind or forgotten on our streets.


Why did I get Involved:

"It is a difficult thing for a human to ignore another's suffering. I didn't want to be someone who points fingers at policy-makers and grumbles about the problems around me; I wanted to be part of the solution. When I heard about the Humanity First Shelter Bus, I immediately knew that it was something I could get behind because of it's potential to have a real impact in our community. As temporary as this shelter may be, our homeless population do not have the luxury to wait for their basic needs to be fulfilled. They need help now, and I really think our project can make a difference." 

– Manahil Pasha

Nick Roberts

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  Nick is currently a consultant at WSP focusing on Fleet & Asset Management advisory. As a Mechanical Engineer who has also studied internationally through the CEMS business program Nick has developed a well-rounded life philosophy and looks to give back to his community. 


  

Why did I get Involved:

I have  previously helped to lead a company Food Drive for Humanity First through WSP and have been motivated to continue my charitable work through the Shelter Bus project.  

– Nick Roberts

Stephen Bacchus

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Stephen Bacchus is an Advisor, Corporate Asset Management at the City of Brampton. He ensures that our infrastructure assets are in a condition to meet levels of service demands, while minimizing risk and maximizing value. Every day, we rely on the infrastructure in our community to provide vital services that improve the quality of life for everyone, including the homeless. 


Why did I get involved?

“I have been a part of humanitarian projects around the world, but I believe the first step in addressing this issue is prioritizing the needs of the less fortunate in our local community. I am part of the Shelter Bus project as an Operations, Maintenance & Logistics Lead as I hope to offer my technical expertise to create an innovative solution that addresses homelessness. I enjoy collaborating with this dedicated team and I am confident we will successfully grow this initiative over time”. 

- Stephen Bacchus

Rick Baltzer

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Rick brings over 35 years of fleet management experience to the Shelter Bus team. As a 310T licensed diesel mechanic who has risen through the ranks Rick has led Transit Maintenance for Burlington Transit, the City of Burlington Fleet Services and now works with WSP as a Transit Consultant. Rick will provide and share his in-depth mechanical knowledge with the Shelter Bus team to help with both the operations and maintenance aspects. 

Selena Hussain

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 Selena is a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology student at the University of Toronto. She has previously worked at Health Quality Ontario and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. She holds a Master of Science in Global health from McMaster University, where she travelled to India to complete health system map research. 


Why did I get Involved:

Last year I handed out gloves and blankets to the homeless population in Toronto. Their smiles and reactions to receive them is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. I joined Shelter Bus as a Health Marketer  because I wanted to be involved in a sustainable solution. I hope to bring my global health knowledge into a local context and make a positive difference right here in the GTA. 

– Selena Hussain

Bareera Mahmood

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Bareera Mahmood is a highschool student in Peel Region. She has gotten involved with the project to fulfill her community service hours and make a positive impact. 


Why did I get involved?

"I like helping people and when I heard about this project, I was excited to help and spend time with people who want to make a change rather than just talk about it"

-Bareera Mahmood

Alia Bacchus

Alia

As a Master’s student at McMaster University and a health advocate within her community, Alia is working toward developing strategies that provide safe, timely and equitable care within an evolving health care environment.


Why did I get involved?

“Having been fortunate enough to volunteer at previous organizations that aim to provide relief to people experiencing homelessness, I am ecstatic to be a part of this amazing initiative. The homeless population is constantly overlooked and they need advocates. They need people in their corner who recognize that everyone has the right to a safe, warm and good night’s sleep. I believe that we, the Shelter Bus team and the community, must be those people.” 

– Alia Bacchus 

Saravanan Kumar

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Saravanan is a Manufacturing Engineer with 2 years of experience in Auto-Parts Manufacturing Industry. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at University of Toronto. He works with WSP

as a part-time associate consultant in the Transportation Advisory Services group. Backed with a Six Sigma Green Belt certification, he has driven cross-functional teams on process improvements and he brings this experience to Shelter Bus for continuous improvements in operations.


Why did I get Involved:

I still remember the first time I saw a homeless man sleeping on top of a heating vent during 

the harsh winter in one of the streets of Toronto, yearning for warmth. I felt privileged for having a roof over my head, but was also determined to help the needy. So when I heard about the Shelter Bus project, I instinctively knew I had to be a part of it.


- Saravanan Kumar

Adnan Tahir

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Adnan is currently a Consultant at WSP in Advisory Services focusing on the transit industry. He has over 5 years of experience in the Mechanical and Aerospace field. With a combination of his education and experience, Adnan’s goal is to give back to his community any way he can. He firmly believes in, “Love for all, hatred for none.”


Why did I get involved:

“Last year whenever I went to Ryerson University and walked from the Dundas station to Victoria Street I would always see homeless people on the streets during the harsh Winter months. I would always ponder over how I could someday help these homeless people who where sleeping out on the streets in the cold. I was already volunteering at Humanity on different projects and when I was introduced to the Shelter Bus project I just knew that I had to get involved by helping homeless people like the ones on Victoria and Dundas to get them off the streets”. 

– Adnan Tahir

Burhan Goraya

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As a recent graduate of Health Sciences and an advocate of public health, my personal vested interest is in improving the health outcomes of marginalized and underrepresented communities, this stems from my membership in the Muslim community whereby dignity and equality have been promoted as essential in maintaining and promoting public health. I hope to work towards improving the health of people who are homeless or vulnerably housed and deepen my understanding of housing as a social determinant of health.  

Why did I get involved?  

"I have been fortunate enough to work on various global health campaigns with Humanity First, but addressing the disparities within our local communities should be prioritized, which currently is being overlooked. This initiative allows us to be advocates for those marginalized communities who are currently facing homelessness. I am humbled to be part of this momentous initiative that will allow for real change towards improving the health of people who are homeless."

-Burhan Goraya

Nadia Hussain

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Nadia Hussain is a skilled multidisciplinary creative, consultant and owner of a creative design business. She graduated from OCAD University with a Bachelor of Design in Advertising and has pursued many creative ventures since; such as social media and branding consulting for multiple Toronto-based businesses.


Why did I get involved?

As a designer I've always been passionate about finding design solutions for diverse communities and all walks of life. When I heard about the 'Shelter Bus' initiative I knew this was the best way to use my design skills to aid the people of city. 

- Nadia Hussain

Batool Husnain

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Batool Husnain is a Rail Designer (EIT) at WSP. She graduated from civil engineering at the University of Toronto and has since been working in the engineering consulting industry. Batool is passionate about giving back to the community and looks forward to helping the homeless with Shelter Bus.


Why did I get involved:

"Transit can greatly benefit those less fortunate by providing an affordable means to get around, but vehicles are no longer useful once they reach their end of life. Repurposing buses as a means to continue benefiting vulnerable populations is unique opportunity, which makes Shelter Bus an exciting initiative to directly benefit the homeless population in Toronto." 

-Batool Husnain 

Chandini Gosine

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Chandini Gosine is a consultant with WSP’s Rail Systems Engineering team. With a background in Civil Engineering, she is now focused on Systems Integration and currently works on a subway expansion project in Toronto.


Why did I get involved:

"Most of us are aware of the many trends in Toronto that exacerbate the problem of homelessness – housing has become increasingly unaffordable, our winters bring record low temperatures, mental health issues continue to rise, and the shelter system is overloaded. Shelter Bus can be a life-saving component in mitigating homelessness, and I am very excited to help make it a reality!"

-Chandini Gosine

Dana Nassif

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Dana Nassif is a Rail Designer with the Rail Systems Engineering team at WSP Canada. She works with diverse cross-functional teams to solve engineering problems. Dana has a passion for transit and tackling social issues.


Why did I get involved? 

"When I first heard about Shelter Bus, it reminded me of an incident that happened a few years ago when I saw police and paramedics at Yonge and Dundas square during a cold night. A man had died while sleeping in a bus shelter because he had not been wearing suitable clothing for sub-zero temperatures. This project will allow more people in our community to survive cold winters that are becoming more severe and frequent due to climate change."

-Dana Nassif

Sharon Nezny

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Sharon has been reaching out to people who are experiencing homelessness for many years, so in 2014 she decided to turn her desire to help into a charity called ‘Grace-Full Backpacks’. With the assistance of the community, Grace-Full Backpacks fills used backpacks with essentials to be handed out to vulnerable people who are on the streets of Toronto. Joining forces with Shelter Bus has given her an opportunity to make change in an even more impactful way and spread awareness of how others can assist with the dire situation on the streets.

Why did I get involved?

When I first heard about the Shelter Bus project, I knew I had to be part of this initiative that has the potential to save lives and at the very least, change lives. I know that part of healing is being heard and I look forward to sharing time with people on the bus, listening to their stories and showing them that their community cares. 

“Helping one person may not change the world, but it may change the world for one person.”