Katherine McParland was the founder and manager of the A Way Home Kamloops movement to end youth homelessness. This issue was close to Katherine's heart as a youth who grew up in the foster care system, and experienced extensive periods of homelessness. She found purpose in the First Voice truth to create change. Katherine was appointed to the Federal government's Advisory Committee on Homelessness and other provincial policy advisory opportunities. In 2018, Katherine was awarded the YMCA Peace Medal for her work towards ending youth homelessness in Kamloops.
Provincially, Katherine co-chaired the BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness and helped to lead the development of a provincial plan to end youth homelessness. Katherine graduated with a Masters of Social Work from the University of Calgary. Most recently, she launched "From Marginalized to Magnified", a BC Representative of Children and Youth Report, to elevate the voices of lived expertise as part of her graduate degree. In 2020, Katherine received the Heart of the Grasslands award from the BC Association of Social Workers.
The Board of Directors of A Way Home Kamloops is pleased to announce the appointment of Sadie Hunter as the organization’s Executive Director. The Board conducted an extensive search for an Executive Director who would be able to expand the work of A Way Home Kamloops, carrying forward the vision of founder, Katherine McParland, that all youth in Kamloops have a safe place to call home and the supports to maintain wellness.
We are happy to share, as of 28 January 2021, Sadie Hunter has stepped into the role. With degrees in journalism and science, along with a diverse professional and personal background, Sadie brings valuable perspective to the Society. She has experience in both the not-for-profit and for-profit world, including operating her own communications business. The variety of skills and talents Sadie brings to the Society include communication, fundraising, risk management and values-based leadership.
A youth-driven focus is foundational to A Way Home Kamloops and Sadie is whole-heartedly committed to maintaining and enhancing this approach. She was a supporter of the work of A Way Home Kamloops in its early days, participating in the Camp Out and attending AWHK events. Sadie’s immediate focus will be meeting with the staff, familiarizing herself with operations and programs, and continuing the important work of the organization.
Kira Cheeseborough is a Peer Support Worker for A Way Home Kamloops. Kira has led the development of Peer Navigation program for youth who have experienced homelessness to help them actualize their employment or education goals, as well as everything in between. Kira is also the Co-Chair of the Employment and Education Committee.
Kira has been award both the ACE-WIL and the CEWIL Student of the Year 2018 award for her work within A Way Home Kamloops, bringing to life the Peer Navigation program. In October 2019, Kira was awarded the TRU Board of Directors Award of Recognition for Excellence in her work with youth through this program.
"Hi my name is Dayna, I am new to A Way Home Kamloops. Currently I am a youth transitional support worker at Safe Suites and a peer-navigator. I have lived experience as a former youth in foster care and am currently in my 2nd year of the Human Service program at TRU. After I graduate I hope to pursue my Bachelor of Social Work at TRU."
“Hello, I am Angell a 26 year old youth, who experienced homelessness at a young age. Then I started going to Youth Against Youth Homelessness, and the whole experience since then has saved my life. I’m ever grateful to Katherine, and the whole A Way Home team, for housing me and showing me that there is more to life than homelessness. My life has been looking up, and on since they helped me off up on my feet. I’ve accomplished schooling, and work. I steadily rent my own place with a partner. I just want to give this opportunity that I was given to as many youth as I can. I believe in the change we can make to our younger generation, because It happened to me first hand. So much love, and appreciation to help A Way Home in any way I can.”
“Hello. My name is Moise Sewap. I am 24 years old and currently a youth advisor with a Way Home Kamloops! I'm an avid walker, music is my passion and I love to dedicate my time for those in need! I also advocate for cancer! I'm also a cancer! Nice to meet you!”
Daniel Galbraith was the original Youth Advisor to A Way Home. Known to be silly, he enjoys the time he gets to spend with everyone at A Way Home. He worked with Katherine in developing the Youth Against Youth Homelessness team and once upon a time he was a key member to A Way Home, chairing the monthly meetings. He brought his experience to a conference in Winnipeg and advised them on ways they can better help and support homeless youth. Daniel aspires to be like Katherine with her compassion and drive. In the future, Daniel wants to go to school for social work and human services to open more doors to the path in ending youth homelessness. When he was part of Youth Against Youth Homelessness they had a chant, MAKE A CHANGE!! and that it what he is here to do.
Melanie has been with A Way Home Kamloops since early 2016. Currently she’s excited to be a co-chair for youth against youth homelessness, a youth led group that works alongside AWHK. She is passionate about learning new things and challenging herself. Her goal is to become a youth advisor and mediator to help ensure a better path for today’s youth. Mel loves getting to know people and their stories, and isn’t afraid to ask questions. Mel has taken her mental health first aid, NVCI, Safe Talk, naloxone, and Level 1 First Aid. When she’s not curled up with a book you might be able to find her on her dirt bike, if you can catch her.
"Hello! My name is Mckenna, I am 23 years old and newly recruited by A Way Home Kamloops as a Youth Advisor. I feel such great honour to be a part of a team that empowers my lived expertise in struggling through many challenges as a youth. Through the obstacles I've faced being homeless, and the understanding I've gained as I have reestablished my life, I have a burning passion to help others who have faced any difficulties in life, rehabilitate from their hardships and give them hope for their future."
SAFE SUITES STAFF
"My name is Rory, I Graduated from the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at Thompson Rivers University. Along with the BSW, I also studied cultural anthropology and attained the Aboriginal Studies Certificate.
In addition, I am also an advocate for the chronic illness community. I am passionate about helping people with neuro-immune and psychiatric disorders find their voice in the world. I am also passionate about healthy living styles. I enjoy teaching others how to maintain a healthy diet, in order to encourage them helping to maintain a healthy body and mind. I am also passionate and well versed in research and academic writing. I have learned to use my academic writing skills to help those struggling to understand the nature of their struggles. Finally, I have worked closely with both children and youth from all walls of life."
& MANY MORE AMAZING CASUAL STAFF!
YOUTH HOUSING FIRST
"My name is Lindsay, I am a new member of A Way Home Kamloops as a Youth Housing First Case Manager. I am currently a student at Thompson Rivers University with the goal to complete my Bachelors of Social Work. I have experience working with youth and families. I have a passion for helping youth in the Kamloops community reach their full potential. I work from a person-centred approach aiming to create a comfortable and non judgmental environment for all youth to develop genuine relationships. I look forward to supporting the youth at safe suites."
YOUTH HOMELESSNESS OUTREACH
YOUTH HOMELESSNESS OUTREACH WORKER
"Hi there, my name is Hayley Wuschke and I am proudly joining A Way Home Kamloops as a Case Manager at Safe Suites! I have obtained my Bachelor of Social Work Degree with a child welfare specialization in conjunction with a Human Services Diploma from Thompson Rivers University. I have a passion for helping others and am eager to support youth in the community to reach their full potential while offering individualized and person-centered care. I believe youth in the Kamloops community have the ability to reach their personalized goals and I am so excited that Safe Suites will offer a safe and supportive environment for youth to do exactly that! I believe in anti-oppressive and strength-based practice and I cannot wait to see youth in the community grow and thrive."
COVID-19 YOUTH OUTREACH WORKER