Supportive homes for youth planned for Kamloops
KAMLOOPS - The Province is partnering with A Way Home Kamloops and a local developer on a proposal to deliver 39 new homes for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in the community.
“Every young person deserves access to a safe and secure place to call home,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “I would like to thank A Way Home Kamloops for bringing this important proposal forward to give vulnerable youth and young adults in Kamloops the supports needed to make a fresh start.”
Located at 560-562 Tranquille Rd., the project would provide 39 self-contained units with supports for people 19 to 26.
The building would be named Katherine’s Place after the late Katherine McParland, the former executive director of A Way Home Kamloops. The project would be an acknowledgment of her life-changing impact on local youth and would continue her legacy by providing services to young people who are at risk or experiencing homelessness.
“Katherine McParland had a dream that we would one day provide a home to many young people in a place where they would feel supported and loved, where all of the wraparound supports they require would be available,” said Tangie Genshorek, executive director, A Way Home Kamloops. “We are excited to be able to make that dream a reality at Katherine’s Place.”
Youth advisers at A Way Home Kamloops agreed. “Katherine was not just an incredible woman but made all those around her feel safe and heard. She saw the value in every single young person. Katherine's Place will continue to create the safety and love we all felt. With the creation of this space, we take a step toward ensuring no youth is left behind.”
A Way Home Kamloops would operate the building. It would include staff on site 24/7 and provide residents with meals, counselling, life skills training, and employment and education support. The non-profit would also support residents to access community health services.
The property is already zoned for this use. A development permit application has been submitted to the City of Kamloops.
If the development and building permit applications are approved by the city, BC Housing will provide an update to the community with the estimated project costs and proposed construction timelines. BC Housing will host a virtual neighbourhood information session and invite neighbours and members of the community to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback. More details will be shared here: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/kamloops-560-tranquille.
Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance –
“Acknowledging Katherine’s commitment to addressing youth homelessness by naming these homes after her is the least we could do to honour her memory. Katherine knew how to bring people together as she pulled Shane Simpson, the former Minister of Social Development, Katrine Conroy, the former Minister of Children and Family Development and myself, as the former Minister of Housing, and pitched how these three ministries could make a difference in the lives of youth. Katherine had a dream and she pulled us all into that dream with her. I wish she were here to see this. She would be so pleased.”
Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development –
“It is so important that every young person has a safe place to call home. Through this project, Katherine McParland's legacy will continue to thrive and there will be a secure home in Kamloops for young people for years to come. I am so grateful to A Way Home Kamloops for their dedication to the youth and young people they serve. Collaboration on projects like this is vital to the success of supporting young people who are facing homelessness.”
Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development –
“Katherine McParland was an inspiration to everyone who met her. I met and worked with Katherine while I was Minister of Children and Family Development and her passion and commitment to vulnerable youth of the province was profound. What an impactful tribute to her memory it is to provide supportive housing to young people who are at risk.”
Cassie Doyle, board chair, BC Housing –
“Katherine was a valued member of the BC Housing board of commissioners, where she had a real influence on raising our awareness on youth housing needs. These new homes are just part of her amazing legacy to end youth homelessness in B.C.”
Missagh Manshadi, owner, Manshadi Pharmacy –
“I met Katherine in 2015 when A Way Home Kamloops was at the beginning of its grassroots journey. She was also working toward developing a youth homelessness action plan. I found Katherine humble, kind and genuine, and we met numerous times to discuss how to fulfil her dream of providing youth and children at risk a safe place to live. I’m passionate about standing beside youth in their journey in life and would like to be a part of the solution. The dream is reality now, thanks to Katherine’s hard work. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
- If approved, funding for the project will come from the Province’s Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund.
- The building would also include commercial space, which would be used by A Way Home Kamloops for its offices.
- The Province’s Building BC housing funds are available to providers who want to create homes for young people in crisis – 564 homes for youth are already open across B.C., and another 206 homes for young people in need are on the way.
- The Province also provides more than 3,100 Homelessness Prevention Program rent supplements to youth transitioning out of care to help with rents in the private market.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
For more information about A Way Home Kamloops, visit: https://www.awayhomekamloops.com/