Meet Our Team
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. These experiences have supported Katherine's integration of learning as a Masters of Social Work Leadership student at University of Calgary. Most recently Katherine have completed a practicum at the B.C. Representative of Children and Youth to ensure youth voice is heard in the development of a provincial plan to end youth homelessness.
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.
PEER NAVIGATOR/SAFE SUITES STAFF
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.
YOUTH HOUSING FIRST SUPPORT WORKER
Marlo is currently perusing her Human Service diploma through TRU and intends to continue into the Bachelor of Social Work Program in the fall. Marlo comes to us with a certificate in mental health and addictions support work from Camosun College in Victoria. During her time in Victoria Marlo worked alongside youth and their families who were navigating homelessness, mental health, addiction, and ministry involvement amongst other challenges. When she isn’t working Marlo can often be found with a good book, or on the slopes of sun peaks.
Jill has recently achieved her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Thompson Rivers University, and completed her final practicum at A Way Home Kamloops where she developed her skills in youth work. Jill has prior experience in developing and facilitating sexualized violence prevention & response education as well as conducting research, and she is passionate about social justice. When she’s not at work, Jill enjoys cooking new recipes, roadtrips around Beautiful BC, and getting outside for hiking, cycling, and camping adventures. While Jill does not own any pets, she loves meeting your furry friends and is always up to hear stories or watch a cat video!
"Weytk, My name is Deidre Sellars and I am new to A Way Home Kamloops as a Youth Housing First Support Worker. I’m currently in my final year of the Bachelor of Social Work program at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and have completed the Child Welfare Specialization. My hopes in completing this specialization are to assist youth and families that I work with to navigate various systems they may work alongside. I’ve also completed the Human Services Diploma and Education Assistant/ Community Support Certificate through Thompson Rivers University; I also have a background as a Health Care Assistant. Going into my education I had a focus of wanting to work with youth and had the pleasure of doing a Practicum Placement with A Way Home in 2016. Alongside completing my degree I am also completing the Aboriginal Studies Certificate through TRU to better understand history and Indigenous peoples resiliencies and challenges. In the recent past I have worked in assisting vulnerable populations at risk of or experiencing homelessness: maintain their housing, connect to community health supports, life skills, and harm reduction efforts. I look forward to working with A Way Home Kamloops and the amazing youth. Kukstemc"
SAFE SUITES CASE MANAGER
"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."
SAFE SUITES LIFE SKILLS WORKER
"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 2121.
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!"
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 who are struggling understand the nature of their struggles.
Finally, I have worked closely with both children and youth from all walls of life."
SAFE SUITES STAFF
My name is Kristen Luttmerding and I have recently joined the team at A Way Home Kamloops as a part of the Safe Suites staff. Before obtaining my Bachelor of Social Work from Thompson Rivers University, I studied psychology for my first three years of post-secondary, wherein I developed a passion for working in adolescent mental health. During my social work education, I developed skills in working with at-risk Indigenous youth, street-entrenched adults experiencing mental health and substance use struggles, and children who had lived through traumatic events. I also had the opportunity to conduct independent research regarding how settler social workers can be effective allies to Indigenous communities.
I am excited to be a part of the team at the innovative Safe Suites project. I believe every youth and young adult in Kamloops should have the opportunities to live a healthy and successful life, and I am honoured to provide a supporting role in those journeys. The youth served by A Way Home Kamloops are incredibly resilient, resourceful, and inspiring, and I look forward to walking alongside them."
CASUAL SAFE SUITES STAFF
"My name is Maxx Isnardy, and I am Ts'ilqotin for the Tl'esqox Band. I identify as two-spirit.
In 2013 I completed my Aboriginal Justice Studies program at the Native Education College. I did a 6 week practicum at WISH Drop-in Center for vulnerable women, and fell in love with the work, and the people. I worked with WISH for 2 years, before moving on to Raincity Housing. I worked in a variety of the programs, from indigenous support worker for adults in HArm reduction housings, to indigenous outreach worker for the At-Risk LGBTQ2 youth in Vancouver. I was then able to bring all my experience and knowledge that i had gained back to my home reserve. I Worked as the Indigenous Youth and Family Coordinator for my band Tl'esqox, connecting our youth back with our culture and teachings. I am so honored to be working with A Way Home and to be able watch and help guide these rad young adults."
CASUAL SAFE SUITES STAFF
My name is Chantelle Hothi and I am a new member of A Way Home Kamloops. I am incredibly excited to start my journey as a case manager at Safe Suites. I recently received my Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Thompson Rivers University. I have experience working with vulnerable youth in an educational setting, as well as supporting youth and their mothers as they transition moving out of supportive shelters. I am passionate about providing ongoing support for all individuals living with mental health and addictions. I use a strengths-based approach, while understanding the importance of engaging in a harm reduction model when working with vulnerable populations. I find an importance in building collaborative relationships with those who I gain the opportunity of working alongside. I hope to be a positive and encouraging support for the six youth residing in Safe Suites."
CASUAL SAFE SUITES STAFF
"My name is Lindsay, I am a new member of A Way Home Kamloops as a Casual Support Worker. 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."
CASUAL SAFE SUITES STAFF
Claire Nakalyango is from Uganda, Kampala and is pursuing a post baccalaureate of Accounting at Thompson Rivers University. Claire's past work experience includes rehabilitation support at an Uganda hospital that provides mental health services to people struggling with substance use. She provided individualized, client-centered support and facilitated patient involvement in decision-making and life-skills training. Claire also works at CMHA supportive housing and appreciates the transformation of people through safe, stable housing. Claire also hosts a Bachelors in Management Science and is passionate about promoting financial sustainability for individuals. Claire is excited to be a part of the A Way Home Kamloops team and the opportunity to excel with the organization.
CASUAL SAFE SUITES STAFF
"Hello, my name is Saerom, and I am very excited to be joining A Way Home Kamloops as a Casual Safe Suites Staff!
I graduated from the Bachelor of Social Work program with a child welfare specialization at Thompson Rivers University. I also completed a practicum at Big Brothers Big Sisters where I developed relevant skills assisting with children. I have always had a strong passion for youth work and I am blessed to have this opportunity. I am very looking forward to supporting every youth in Safe Suites to feel a sense of belonging and to helping them reach their full potential and achieve their personalized goals."