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Me and my Kamloops

A Way Home Kamloops Remembers Executive Director Katharine McParland

A Way Home Kamloops Remembers Executive Director Katharine McParland

December 8, 2020 at 2:34 pm  Community, Kamloops

Kamloops, B.C.: it is with deep regret and sorrow that A Way Home Kamloops announces the passing of their beloved
Executive Director, Katherine McParland.

“This is a huge loss for so many in our community, and by extension, our province,” said Louise Richards, Board Chair of A
Way Home Kamloops. “Our heartfelt condolences to the family and many friends who are now mourning the loss of such
a vibrant woman who has done so much in her life to advocate for the care of youth and to work to eradicate youth
homelessness.”

Since aging out of the foster care system into homelessness at age 19, Katherine has been a passionate advocate. Over
the past decade, she built deep relationships with youth, community leaders, and law makers with the goal of changing
policy and improving outcomes for vulnerable youth. Katherine’s strength, compassion, and intelligence enabled her to
overcome significant life challenges to become the respected and accomplished community leader she was.

In the past two years, Katherine successfully completed a master’s degree in social work, transitioned A Way Home
Kamloops from a community coalition to a registered charity, and opened Safe Suites, a safe home with 24-hour staff supports for youth with complex needs.

“Katherine was a compassionate fighter, never shying away from the tough issues that impacted her community,” said David Eby, Attorney General and minister responsible for housing. “She drew on her own lived experiences, as a child who grew up in the foster care system and experienced extensive periods of homelessness, in serving as a commissioner on BC Housing’s board. Her knowledge was invaluable in supporting our work to address homelessness while supporting people.”

“A transformative force, Katherine combined her lived experience and academic expertise to raise awareness of the root causes of youth homelessness and to advocate for the housing needs of youth,” said Cassie Doyle, Board Chair of BC Housing, where McParland served on the Board of Commissioners. “Katherine radiated positivity. She was courageous in giving a voice to those often systematically excluded and in pushing for the meaningful inclusion of youth with lived experience in decisions that affected them.”

The Campout to End Youth Homelessness, A Way Home Kamloops’ signature fundraising event, was scheduled for December 11 and will move ahead as scheduled.

“We believe Katherine would want this event to go ahead as planned,” said Richards. “This year the campout is a fully virtual event where supporters can join the campout from their own home. We ask people to camp out or donate to support a camper to celebrate Katherine’s life and to support a cause that was her life’s work.”

People may donate online if they wish: www.awayhomekamloops.com

“Katherine made a significant impact in our community,” said Richards. “We are deeply grateful for her leadership and her impact will have a ripple effect for generations.”

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