A Kamloops councillor has been hired as the new executive director of A Way Home Kamloops, the organization that works to eliminate homelessness among youth in the city.
Sadie Hunter has been appointed to the position that was left vacant following the sudden death on Dec. 4, 2020, of Katherine McParland, who founded the organization.
In a statement, the A Way Home board said the organization conducted an extensive search for an executive director who would be able to expand the work of the agency and carry forward the vision of McParland, that all youth in Kamloops have a safe place to call home and the supports to maintain wellness.
The board said Hunter, with degrees in journalism and science and a diverse professional and personal background, 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 board said in its release. “The variety of skills and talents Sadie brings to the society include communication, fundraising, risk management and values-based leadership.”
“I’m grateful for this opportunity and look forward to honouring Katherine’s legacy by carrying on with her incredibly important work advocating for and supporting vulnerable youth,” Hunter said. “My near-term focus is on supporting staff, youth and the A Way Home Kamloops community, and providing them with stability, certainty and continuity.”
A Way Home Kamloops can trace its roots back to 2012, when Kamloops was named as one of two communities to be part of pilot projects to develop a youth homelessness action plan in a national initiative. Kamloops was also the first community in B.C. to develop a youth homelessness action plan.
At the same time, a grassroots collective was founded and was meeting in an abandoned building, exploring how to create housing for youth aging out of care and into homelessness. The City of Kamloops approached the collective to become the steering committee behind the plan — which resulted in the creation of A Way Home.
Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week