WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER TOMORROW
A Way Home Kamloops has come a long way from its grassroots beginning, which involved meeting in an abandoned building. The history begins in 2012 when Kamloops was named as one of two pilots to develop a youth homelessness action plan in a national initiative. Kamloops was one of two communities, the first in BC, to develop a youth homelessness action plan, through the Mobilizing Local Capacity program. At the same time, a grassroots collective was founded by a youth with lived experience of homelessness. This group was meeting in an abandoned building and was passionately exploring how to create housing for youth aging out of care into homelessness. The City of Kamloops approached this collective to become the steering committee behind the plan and became A Way Home. The national initiative formed a new non-profit and as Kamloops’ work was so ground-breaking and successful, the national organization asked to use the name A Way Home Canada. Most recently this has become an international phenomenon with A Way Home America and A Way Home Scotland.
A WAY HOME KAMLOOPS
A Way Home Youth Homelessness Action Plan
A Way Home Kamloops is implementing our community plan to end youth homelessness. Our vision is all youth in Kamloops have a safe place to call home and the supports to sustain wellness. Our 2018 strategic goals involve enhancing our capacity to house & support youth, lead a provincial plan to end youth homelessness, and develop tools to demonstrate our impact in reducing youth homelessness.
Youth Homelessness in Kamloops
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
In October 2016 A Way Home Kamloops is the first community in Canada to conduct a youth homelessness count. We identified 129 youth who had experienced homelessness with 56 youth currently homeless. In our Youth Count Report we have collected demographic information and youth have shared their voices and hopes for change where every youth has a way home.
Youth Homelessness in British Columbia
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
In November 2017, A Way Home Kamloops, Katherine McParland, co-founded the B.C. Coalition to End Youth Homelessness in partnership with Fred Ford of Pacific Community Resource Society. This coalition consists of organizations from all across B.C. Our mission is to develop a provincial plan to end youth homelessness that ensures every youth has access to safe housing and the supports needed to sustain it. A provincial plan would include: collaborating with provincial government around role and responsibilities; developing a strategy for housing, prevention, and supports; collaborative research planning and information sharing to end youth homelessness. This project is informed by core values that Youth First Voices are First Priority, B.C. communities should lead this work, and integration of Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.