About Us

Mission Statement & Core Values

Mission Statement:

The Society promotes a safe and peaceful community through effective and humane criminal and social justice programs.

Core Values:

  • All people have the right to safe and affordable housing.
  • Every person has intrinsic worth and must be treated with dignity, equity, fairness and compassion before the law.
  • All people have the potential to become responsible citizens.
  • Every person has the right and the responsibility to be informed about, and involved in, the criminal justice process.
  • Justice is best served through measures that impose humane consequences, resolve conflicts, repair harm, and restore peaceful relations in society.
  • Independent, non-profit, non-government organizations have a vital role in the criminal justice process.


"I'm very grateful for your hard work...your work is like sunshine in my life."

"That quick conversation was enough for me to notice that you care about guys in my position and are willing to work hard for us. Thank you for that. People like you are invaluable."

"When you have people of quality and integrity behind you, the hard decisions are much easier to make. I have been in jail before and for the first time will leave with a job and a fresh start. I could not be more grateful. Thank you for all your Society's efforts on my behalf."

"My son was addicted to drugs and had many visits to prison before breaking his criminal ways. What changed him was going to John Howard and the support he received from your caring and genuinely concerned people. He has now been clean for 3 years and has a full-time job. For a long time I did not acknowledge him as my son, I would like to thank you for giving me my son back."

"It means a lot to know that someone cares and is there to help through this trying time. I felt a really good vibe from you when we first met and I could tell you have a good heart."


Please refer to our Annual Reports for our audited financial statements. We are funded primarily by the Correctional Service of Canada and Community Living British Columbia.

As a Registered Charitable Society, our activities depend on public involvement. A voluntary Board of Directors governs the Society and volunteers are extensively involved in our work. You have an opportunity, through time or money, to make your community safer by helping us help those who are at risk of offending or re-offending.

The John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland, as a member of the United Way, benefits directly from the millions of dollars the organization invests each year in a network of over 400 programs dedicated to helping people.

Thank you for donating and living our mission and core values—your actions and thoughts make a huge difference in the lives of many.

A tax receipt is issued for any donation made to The John Howard Society.

Charities Registration #107542573

Get involved and become a member of the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland for just $15 a year!

The John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland of BC
763 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC
V5V 3C2

Our Well Trained Staff

The John Howard Society believes in well-trained staff and management with a strong code of ethics and policies. Training includes:

  • nonviolent crisis intervention
  • de-escalating difficult behaviour
  • standard first aid
  • risk assessment
  • risk management instruction
  • working with mental health and developmental disability populations
  • effective leadership
  • successful supervision

CARF Accreditation

CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) is an independent, non-profit accreditor of health and human services focusing on quality and results. The John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland has received accreditation from CARF since 2004.

Letter of Accreditation

Survey Report

Historical Timeline


  • February 29th, 1932: The John Howard Society of British Columbia is incorporated (later becoming the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland). The initial focus of the Society was assisting male prisoners with "after care" following their release from B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster and Oakalla Prison Farm in Burnaby.
  • The John Howard Society of Victoria is founded in 1935
  • New Haven begins operating as the first Canadian institution for young offenders
  • Reverend J.D. Hobden, founder of the John Howard Society of BC, is appointed to the Archambault Royal Commission on Penal Reform
  • A women's hostel sponsored by the City of Vancouver later becomes the Elizabeth Fry Society



  • The BC Bar Association assigns the screening of legal aid applicants to The John Howard Society
  • Adult probation initiated in Vancouver city police courts
  • Reverend J.D. Hobden seconded to Remission Service of Canada, which was in charge of parole-granting


  • The John Howard Society supervises parolees released on ticket-of-leave license—the beginning of Parole Services
  • Branches of The John Howard Society are established in New Westminster, Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton



  • The Native Court Worker Program is established, focusing on "family re-unification and restoration, mediation, education, prevention, integrated case management, conflict resolution and counselling."
  • The 7th Step Society is founded, providing housing and services for federal parolees
  • The McNeil Island Project: JHS staff begin visiting Canadians incarcerated in Washington and Oregon state prisons; prisoner exchange between Canada and the U.S. begins
  • The J.D. Hobden Scholarship is established to assist ex-offenders with university level education


  • Regional offices of the John Howard Society are established in the Lower Mainland (Metro Vancouver), the Okanagan, Northern BC and Thompson
  • Hobden House opens in Surrey, providing housing and other services for federal parolees
  • Family House, which provides low-cost temporary accommodation to the families of men serving time in prison, opens in Abbotsford; a children's summer program is initiated


  • Parole supervision taken over by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) from the John Howard Society
  • Guy Richmond Place, a B.C. Provincial Corrections halfway house, is established in Surrey, BC (later moving to Vancouver) for men on conditional release
  • Stephen Kruger House is established in association with Simon Fraser University to assist persons with "dual-diagnosis": mental health with addiction issues
  • JHSLM purchases a Special Needs Residential Facility (Hatfield House) from the Hatfield Society; the Ministry for Children and Family Development contracts for outreach and live-in support services to persons with developmental disabilities
  • South Surrey Supported Residence established, a licensed care facility for persons on conditional discharge from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (Not Criminally Responsible Due to Mental Disorder or having an Acquired Brain Injury); this closes in 2004 due to changing government priorities
  • Vancouver Apartment (VA) purchased: originally intended as independent apartments for persons with developmental disabilities who may have come into conflict with the law, and later providing supported living for people with developmental disabilities with no connection to criminal justice
  • JHSLM begins the Prostitution Offender Program with Vancouver Police Department, also known as "John School"

Recent Years