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A Way Home Kamloops parts ways with executive director

Sadie Hunter was in the role for six months, following passing of founder Katherine McParland
Sadie Hunter
Sadie Hunter was named executive director of A Way Home Kamloops in February. She has since parted with the organization.

A Way Home Kamloops has parted ways with its executive director, Sadie Hunter, after about six months on the job. The non-profit’s acting head, Tangie Genshorek, confirmed the departure to KTW on Wednesday, noting she started last Friday.

Genshorek would not say whether Hunter resigned or was let go by the organization. She said the official word from the non-profit’s board of directors was that the two sides have parted ways.

Hunter, who is also a Kamloops city councillor, was announced as the organization’s next executive director in February, assuming the position left vacant following the sudden death on Dec. 4, 2020, of Katherine McParland, who founded A Way Home Kamloops.

In lieu of an interview, Hunter provided a written statement to KTW. When asked if she resigned or was let go, she did not answer. She said the departure comes with a “heavy heart.”

“I took on the executive director position at a very difficult time and threw myself into learning about the operations of AWHK,” Hunter wrote. “I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past few months. That said these accomplishments could not repair the broken hearts Katherine [McParland] left behind. Katherine was the heart of A Way Home Kamloops and that heart is broken. Healing needs to continue within the agency before the organization will be ready to move forward.”

Hunter said the need to support youth at risk or who are experiencing homelessness continues. As for whether a successor to Hunter has been lined up, Genshorek said it’s too early to say.

“I’m here with the support of the board of directors for the foreseeable future,” Genshorek said. “We don’t have a timeline on our leadership change.”

Genshorek has worked with A Way Home Kamloops in the past as a contractor, including following the passing of McParland. She said the organization is moving forward and all of its programming will remain the same.

“Everything is just as it used to be, just different leadership,” Genshorek said.

A Way Home Kamloops works to eliminate homelessness among youth in the city and can trace its roots back to 2012, when the city was named one of two communities in 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.