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.
PEER NAVIGATOR/OUTREACH WORKER
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!”
YOUTH ADVISOR PROJECT COORDINATOR
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."
"Hello! My name is Tarryn Malm.
I completed my Bachelor’s of Sociology at Thompson Rivers University in 2020. I am the House Leader at A Way Home Kamloops - Safe Suites. When I’m not working; I enjoy spending my time with my dog, doing house renovations and spending time with my loved ones. In the next few years, I have hopes to further my education and pursue a Masters in Sociology."
LIFE SKILLS SUPPORT WORKER
"Hi, my name is Mady! I graduated from TRU with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in sociology. I am the Life Skills Support Worker at Safe Suites. I am passionate about ending the stigma around mental health and substance use; while promoting overall wellness and living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. My goal is to support our communities most vulnerable populations to grow and succeed through life’s challenges."
YOUTH HOUSING FIRST
"Hi! I'm Lindsay, a Third Year Social Work student at TRU with a passion to end youth homelessness in my community. I love working with such courageous and resilient youth, they inspire me every day! 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. For fun I like to spend time with my ferret Poppy, work out and watch horror movies."
"I facilitate the coordination of community resources to best serve my clients while maintaining a healthy and supportive relationship. I empower my clients and support them in meeting their needs. I operate with trauma informed practice at the heart of what I do. I believe that everyone deserves respect and compassion regardless of anything. I am not afraid to fight for what I feel is right and to assist others in meeting their needs. Currently, I am writing a Bachelors thesis advocating for decriminalization of illicit substances with emphasis on harm reduction, trauma informed practice and safe supply. I am also very passionate about the outdoors and activities that take me into the mountains with my dog, daughter or friends."
YOUTH HOUSING FIRST
"I assist in providing youth with basic life skills and fostering them with a home away from home. Being a support worker is very rewarding because you get to help assist youth in achieving their goals and help them become model citizens in the community. Some values that drive me are: compassion, courage, commitment and dependability. Outside of work I study psychology to hopefully become a psychiatrist in the nearest future. I am the last of 8 children, I love singing cooking and meditating in my free time. I am very adventurous and outgoing if you ever see me passing by feel free to say hello."
"Hi! I have a diploma in Community Support and a passion to help end youth homelessness. From lived experience, I know the importance of creating a safe place for our youth. I ensure the physiological needs of a youth are met, as well as implementing social-belonging, and building cognitive needs. My goal is to have a positive impact on the youth of Kamloops. To build strong relationships with community partners, to ensure there are no wrong doors for the youth within our community. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking in the wilderness with my child. Visiting and supporting nearby communities and grabbing a scoop (or two) of wet paint ice cream from Scoopz.
YOUTH HOUSING FIRST
"Hello, my name is Moira Umwali. I am a youth support worker at AWHK. I am currently pursuing a Masters of Science at Thompson Rivers University in Environmental Economics and Management. I have been with AWHK for a year now; I have a passion for helping others especially youth facing challenges in their daily lives."
YOUTH HOUSING FIRST
"My name is Thaia (she/her) I work as a supportive housing worker at safe suites. I have goals to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care or Social Work. I always want to encourage health and wellness with the youth I work with as that is passion I have in my personal life. I believe that all youth deserve a safe space to live and thrive to reach their goals. When I’m not at work I’m either at the gym, with my cat Callie or with friends."
YOUTH HOMELESSNESS OUTREACH WORKER
"Hola! I'm Andrea and I do all the admin stuff at AWHK. I graduated from TRU with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing with a minor in Project Management. I like to work at AWHK because I love to empower my community. I would like for youth to feel the love at AWHK and trust us that we are a safe space for them to achieve their full potential. In my free time I like to sing in the shower and paint with my fingers. If you see me around don't forget to say, hola!"