Statement from BC Housing Board Chair Cassie Doyle
BC Housing has released the following statement from Cassie Doyle, Chair of the Board of Commissioners:
It is with heavy hearts that we at BC Housing mourn the loss of Katherine McParland, a much-valued member of our Board of Commissioners. Our thoughts are with Katherine’s friends and loved ones during this tragic time, particularly the many youth who she inspired, supported, and mentored.
Katherine never wavered from her purpose to advocate for an end to youth homelessness. She fueled lasting change for youth experiencing homelessness through the agency she founded, A Way Home Kamloops, and in her role as co-chair of the BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness. She was also a member of the federal Advisory Committee on Homelessness, and a dedicated member of the Board of BC Housing.
A transformative force at BC Housing, 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. 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.
Katherine radiated positivity. She tackled the most challenging issues facing our society with vulnerability and grace. We hope that decision makers across the province take up Katherine’s call to end the injustices within the child welfare system that create what she called, “the superhighway to homelessness”.
On a personal level, Katherine was a dear friend and I am devastated by the news of her death. She was warm, perceptive, kind, and had an infectious sense of humour. I learned so much from her and was in awe of her courage.
Note: BC Housing asks the public and the media to respect the privacy of Katherine’s colleagues, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time. Anyone who wishes to is encouraged to make a donation in Katherine’s memory to A Way Home Kamloops.
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