Katherine McParland is the founder and manager of the A Way Home Kamloops movement to end youth homelessness. This issue is close to Katherine's heart as a youth who grew up in the foster care system, and experienced extensive periods of homelessness. She has found purpose in this 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-chairs the BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness and is helping to lead the development of a provincial plan to end youth homelessness. Katherine is a graduate of the Masters of Social Work Leadership program at 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.
Kira Cheeseborough is a Youth Advisor and Peer Support Worker for A Way Home Kamloops. Kira has led the development of an Education Peer Navigation program for youth who have experienced homelessness at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). Kira is also the Chair of Youth Against Youth Homelessness.
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 Excellence for her work with youth in the community through the Peer Navigation 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.”
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.
“Hello, I’m Korrie a new youth advisor and have experienced homelessness. My biggest goal is to become a Veterinarian and go to TRU. I’ve always wanted to help more and A Way Home Kamloops gave me that chance to help make a change!”
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 and NVCI, Safe Talk, naloxone training, 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 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!”
Quintin Courtoreille is one of A Way Home Kamloops Youth Advisors responsible for anything surrounding design and art. He is in his first year of Psychology which he planned on going into in order to better help himself and others.
In 2016, Quintin joined Youth Against Youth Homelessness which took his love for helping people and directed it where it could be utilized which is now helping A Way Home Kamloops and their Youth Conference. He takes his experience of struggling with youth homelessness and uses it to motivate himself to not let anyone else suffer the same.
Sharon is Sioux, Assiniboine and Cree First Nation from White Bear, Saskatchewan. She was born and raised the majority of her life in her home Province but has found herself as well as purpose here in British Columbia.
Sharon is a new member of the A Way Home Kamloops team and is very excited to get more involved with the improvement on ending Youth Homelessness and creating change for the better in communities. After completing her first year Bachelor of Arts, Sharon is now working on improving navigational life skills after ageing out of the care system and plans to pursue into Human Services. She can usually be found making art, spending time with family & friends or enjoying time outdoors.
"It's been my pleasure to work for A Way Home Kamloops. As a youth that once was homeless myself, ending youth homelessness has been one of my greatest life dreams. By volunteering, working hard, and having patience we all get there to see that goal and dream fulfilled one day, so that no youth will be left homeless."
"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."
"Hi, my name is Ryan and I just recently joined the A Way Home team. I have more of a background in technical theatre, but I always thought that I could use my social talents and chatty instincts for the greater good. Coming from a colorful background I’ve always believed that substance abuse and youth homelessness are big and important issues, and I am glad to work with an organization dedicated to rectifying this problem. I hope that with my help and with the power of teamwork from the rest of our team we can succeed in our goals and give hope to anyone who may need it."
"Weyt-k - hello! My name is Erika, and I am joining the A Way Home team as a Life Skills Worker at the Safe Suites location! I also work as a Rehabilitation Worker at a local psychiatric unit, as well as attend Thompson Rivers University; I received my Human Service Diploma in 2018, then continued on into the Bachelor of Social Work program, which i am set to receive my degree in 2021.
I work from combined strengths-based, anti-oppressive, and person-centered perspectives and take a holistic approach to health and wellness; I am firmly rooted in the belief that true healing must be an all-around experience. I base my practice with individuals to encompass the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual determinants of self, for I believe that if one of these aspects is suffering, that the rest will be out of alignment as well.
I am very much looking forward to getting to know the staff at A Way Home and the youths who reside in the Safe Suites! I am honored and excited to be a part of their team, and can't wait to see - and be a part of! - the continued success of this organization, as together we fight to eradicate youth homelessness!"
"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."