MCC Ontario is proud to announce that Circle of Friends program coordinator Katie McDougall has been awarded the Christine Wilson Outstanding Housing Community Worker award. This honour, presented as part of National Housing Day events, is for her incredible leadership in the Circle of Friends program.
Circle of Friends supports individuals and families transitioning from homelessness and shelter-living back into the Kitchener-Waterloo community. Circles are small groups of 2-3 volunteers and 1 individual experiencing homelessness that meet each week. These Circles create a network of support for these individuals in transition through authentic community building. Activities and processes are tailored to meet individual needs - for example one week may include working on budgeting and the next going for coffee and a visit.
As evidenced by the multiple letters to the awards committee nominating the program, Katie’s leadership of Circle of Friends has made a profound impact. The authentic, community-building core of the program works to reduce the loneliness and isolation experienced by so many who transition from homelessness. Katie works alongside Marie-Paule Attema, who joined the team in 2014.
The heart of the Circle of Friends Program is walking alongside people – really knowing them, putting in the time, and being willing to learn from them too. It’s mutually transformative in a way that deeply touches the lives of participants and volunteers alike. To support the Circle of Friend Program donate below.