WHAT’s In A Name?

The community engagement process that took place to create a committee of motivated professionals was grassroots in its origin.

A former youth from the foster care system and a current professional working for a social service agency initiated a plan to form a very specific committee with the goal of increasing housing options for youth who turn 19 in the community of Kamloops, BC.

Several colleagues shared this vision, and there were seven people at the first meeting. Within six months of forming, the committee had grown to a membership of more than 20 people. They represented non-profit organizations, government services, employment agencies, Aboriginal organizations, foster parents, and community members. This became the Youth Supportive Housing Committee of Kamloops.

In 2012, Kamloops was identified as a pilot site in the national Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness Program (MLC).

Nearly two years of research and community consultations followed. It was led by the City of Kamloops, Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way, the Kamloops Homelessness Action Plan, and the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society in partnership with Eva’s Initiatives, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association, the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness, and the financial support of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation.

In the spring of 2014, the plan to end youth homelessness was completed. The name A Way Home was chosen to represent the plan and the Youth Supportive Housing Committee unanimously voted to adopt the plan as their own guiding framework for action. The committee also changed their name to A Way Home to reflect the connection to the plan and the community goal to provide guidance toward a life that extends far beyond simply housing.

The original grassroots committee changed their name to A Way Home, and has now grown to over 40 members. Rooted in Action.

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The views expressed on this website are those of the A Way Home coalition and do not necessarily reflect those of the individual organizations.