As the current housing crisis rises, the city of Kamloops is working together with the local organization, A Way Home, to help their homeless youth in honour of the late Katherine McParland.
The new accommodations are slated to be built on two vacant lots in North Kamloops, 560 and 562 Tranquille Rd. and will house a 39-unit complex tailored for young adults between the ages of 19 and 26.
Katherine’s Place has an emotional sentiment behind it with its dedication to one of the huge players in where A Way Home Kamloops is today. This housing complex is to be built in McParland’s name after her sudden and untimely passing last year on Dec. 4, 2020.
McParland faced many obstacles and struggles early in her life and was clearly a drive for her efforts to help those in similar situations.
“Katherine was in the foster care system at an early age, facing different forms of homelessness throughout her life and when she started training as a social worker, she started to look at solutions for homelessness, which lead to the formation of A Way Home, Kamloops,” Tangie Genshorek, A Way Home Kamloops executive director, said.
Tangie also mentioned that McParland did most of the work in developing and organizing various activities to make the lives of Kamloops youths better.
As the current Executive Director, Tangie understands that many young adults in Kamloops are facing difficulties in meeting the high rent and tuition needs, combined with the growing issues of mental health and addiction risk.
The building will be operated by A Way Home Kamloops, who will have their offices set up in the commercial space of the building.
With onsite support available, A Way Home is hopeful that they will be able to work closely with the young people living onsite with resources such as meal help, counselling, life skills, peer navigation and educational support.
The organization operates from a ‘youth housing first’ philosophy and intends to help youth achieve these necessary life skills and thrive.
By implementing certain community housing initiatives, the members hope to end homelessness, which has been on the rise in Kamloops. They are hoping to stand as an example for other communities across the country. They also work to practice community coordination to eradicate the gaps in the system to keep the Kamloops youth away from all the potential wrong doors.
The team is working thoroughly to get the building up and running, in order to keep up Katherine’s legacy to end youth homelessness in B.C.
The organization is currently working closely with the local government so as to get their development permit sanctioned for the construction to begin. With the final stages of planning in the works, A Way Home Kamloops is hopeful that Katherine’s Place will be able to open its doors to local youth in approximately 18-months.