The BC Regional Advisory Board (RAB) is comprised of 10 representatives who are knowledgeable about the homeless reality in rural and remote areas of British Columbia. In order to ensure funding is allocated in the most effective manner to the initiatives and/or organizations that are able to influence change to the realities of homelessness, this Board is designed to draw upon partnerships with entities with similar goals. The board strives to achieve a balance of representation from across BC.
To contribute to the reduction of homelessness by increasing access to sustainable and collaborative approaches in rural and remote areas of British Columbia.
The Regional Advisory Board, using knowledge-based practice, recommends funding to reduce homelessness in BC's rural and remote communities through a fair and transparent process, based on the following guiding principles:
NICOLE STINSON - BC Housing
Nicole is the Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning at BC Housing, the provincial crown agency responsible for subsidized housing in British Columbia. In her work, Nicole leads BC Housing’s corporate business planning and reporting processes and provides support to BC Housing’s Board. In previous public service roles, Nicole has worked on program development in the areas of homelessness and the creation of affordable housing options. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, and a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy and Administration from McMaster University. Nicole has also earned her designation as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and has governance experience with Boards in the non-profit and public service sectors.
MAIA MCKINLEY - Housing Policy Branch, Office of Housing and Construction Standards - Ministry of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing
Maia has worked as a Senior Policy Analyst with the provincial Office of Housing and Construction Standards for the last six years. She works on a range of strategic policy issues related to homelessness and supportive and affordable housing. Maia has worked as a lead analyst on cross-government research projects and for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Housing Forum. Prior to joining the Province of B.C., Maia worked for the federal Immigration and Refugee Board and in the non-profit sector for the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria. Maia holds an MA in International Development with a focus on Women in Development.
KIRSTEN SIGERSON - Community Corrections (Pacific) - Correctional Service of Canada
Kirsten Sigerson has worked for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) for the last 20 years, starting her career in 1993 following the completion of a Masters Degree (Sociology) from the University of British Columbia. Since this time she has worked in numerous settings across the organization, gaining experience at the regional / national headquarters level, as well as at a variety of institutional and community sites. Areas of focus throughout her career have included project management, strategic planning, inter-departmental collaboration, program evaluation, and public education about the work and objectives of CSC. Kirsten currently works as a Senior Project Manager for Community Corrections (Pacific), and is regularly involved in partnership development and research activities that relate to offender reintegration.
KATHY BERGGREN-CLIVE– MCFD Provincial Social Development and Children Sector
Kathy is currently the Director of the Community Poverty Reduction Initiative for the Ministry of Children and Family Development and is responsible for working with designated communities in B.C. and establishing collaborative partnerships between the provincial and municipal governments, local community organizations, service providers and business representatives to innovative local solutions that address poverty, mitigate its effects and connect low income families with services and supports. As a social work practitioner for 35 years, she has held a range of front-line and senior level positions within government and has a strong background in clinical skills, administration, conflict resolution, policy development, training and education, change management, project management and research and evaluation. For 8 years, she worked as a Child and Youth Advocate for the provinces' three oversight bodies and developed knowledge and expertise in best practices and effective models and approaches to advocacy, youth engagement and conflict resolution. She also has a passion for children's rights and specializes in designing and implementing a rights-based approach to practice, policy and program development and service delivery. Kathy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of British Columbia. She has also earned her designation as an Advanced Practitioner in LEAN and has extensive governance experience in the non-profit sector. She has received several awards which include: a National Children's Rights Champions Award (Canadian Coalition on the Rights of the Child, 2011); Premier's Award for Innovation: Youth Engagement Toolkit, 2014; and the Above and Beyond Award, Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks, 2010. Kathy is enjoying her new role as a "Nana" to Henry, loves fishing in Haida Gwaii with her husband, gardening and walking with Cooper, her 9 year old boxer.
SHEILA ADCOCK - Program Coordinator, Career Development Services
Sheila Adcock has been the Program Coordinator of Career Development Services in Trail since 2001. Sheila's vision and dedication to assisting individuals with complex needs access employment, housing and community inclusion opportunities has made CDS a respected and integral part of the community.
Under her leadership, Trail CDS has launched five social enterprises that provide employment opportunities as well as generating income that provides supports for individuals with complex issues. Sheila's advocacy work on behalf of the individuals served has resulted in many innovative and important partnerships and programs.
CDS has a staff of 40+ which Sheila supervises as well as various programs including; Getting to Home homeless project, Supported Employment & EPBC Work BC employment services sub-contractor, 5 social enterprise businesses, Youth Action Network Coordinator, Theatre Group, Job Creation Project, La Nina Extreme Weather Shelter, Community Inclusion Activity Centre as well as negotiating Outreach supports for approx 90 (400+ hours per week) individuals with complex issues.
JOLENE WESLEY – Program Director, Kermode Friendship Society
Jolene has worked as the Program Director for Kermode Friendship Society for 6 years. Responsibilities of her position include contract administration and assistance with contract delivery through the 10 programs under the Kermode Friendship Society umbrella. Areas of focus include Education, Program Development, and Delivery along with Employment Education and Human Resources.
CAROLYN SAMPSON – Aboriginal Community Development Officer, Vancouver Island Community Corrections / Victoria Parole
CHUCK HARPER, CHAPLAIN – Regional Advisory Board Member
Founder of a number of ministries's which includes his current role with Vernon's homeless memorial, Street Church.
Chuck brings to the RAB his knowledge and first hand lived experience, and later attended seminary preparing for ordination as Chaplain he has lived across Canada, attending a number of various courses: Counseling for teenagers, Ministerial Ethics Training, Family Conflict Resolution, Gang Awareness Training, Self Harm Awareness, Suicide Prevention, Non -Violent Crisis intervention, Emotional and Spiritual care for individuals involved in disasters, Case Planning for shelters, Managing hostile interactions, Effective report writing, trauma in the shelter and other homeless related workshops.
Chuck is also a volunteer board member with National Taskforce on Homelessness and poverty with Youth for Christ Canada, Portage La Prairie's Community Network board, Street Level which is a national organization for ministries involved with poverty and homelessness and has served on a number of action teams within the community of Vernon, as well as, the Partners in Action committee.
Chuck brings his expertise and knowledge of his background in the hopes to make impacts in communities across the province.
CONSTABLE JASON GILLIS – Regional Advisory Board Member
Jason is currently the Urban Aboriginal Liaison Officer for the Prince George RCMP and has been with the RCMP in various capacities and different regions for 19+ years. Jason is also a proud entrepreneur and facilitator of two security companies in his home town that offers premiere licensed certified security training and has been doing this for the past 3 years that prepares applicants for rewarding careers in the security sector. Jason joined the BCHPS team hoping to share and assist with his knowledge of a previous child growing up in the foster care system and now his experience with the RCMP and the people he has assisted over the years.
Jason is also an advocate for those who are First Responders and those that suffer with PTSD as he himself is a survivor of PTSD resulting from various traumatic work incidents that he endured, in turn brought Jason back to his cultural roots and traditional ways, his yearning in seeking ways for finding relief and comfort for his body, mind and soul, starting with learning, practicing and sharing traditional smudges to traditional sweats. Jason's father-in-law was one of the key individuals who helped bring this back into Jason's life and eventually between both, the creation of their own sweat with the approval of the traditional territory. (The Sweat lodge, an Aboriginal culture, where the sweat lodge empowers the natural elements of our being and each element bringing a quality of balance to lives through prayer and purification) It was here that helped Jason with his PTSD where he was not only to be able to return to work but also become a prodigy himself and using his father-in-laws teachings to offer this not only to other First Responders but those wanting to heal their Spirit, Body and Mind.
With Jason's work he sees firsthand how homelessness affects people in general and has been working with Housing First Initiatives for the past 2 years and worked with several clients finding them not only a home, but more importantly health services and general wrap around support and hopes that he can bring his expertise in making strong, successful and safe communities across the province.
LEO HEBERT – Hebear Consulting
Leo is a First Nation who originates from the Sawridge First Nation in Northern Alberta. He attended PGSS and the CNC in the early 70's and went back to Alberta to work in construction. In 1980, he returned to BC where he fell in love with his wife Maureen and moved to Prince George. It was then that he was introduced to the living conditions of the local Dakelh people and from his own experience, understood what living in poverty is like and wanted to be part of the solution and make change.
Leo calls himself, a "community developer" and has worked for First Nations, non-profit Aboriginal organizations, and for government in a variety of capacities predominantly in housing and building for over 35years. Some of his work includes; RRAP Inspector for BC Native Housing, Program Officer with CEIC, Housing Coordinator for CSTC, Energy Auditor for BC Hydro, Special Projects for PGNFC, Capital Development for Lheidli T'enneh, Program Officer for CMHC, Executive Director for the AHSPG, Huboduleh Coordinator with PGNAETA, and project manager for a variety of projects on and off reserve. Leo has sat on many community and provincial boards and committees over the years.
Leo now works, part time from home offering his experience and skills to others as a volunteer and consultant. He is dedicated to continuing to help find sustainable solutions for those less fortunate and in need. He is thankful that he was given the opportunity to serve and be part of a vibrant indigenous community here in BC. Leo recently received a Leadership Excellence Award and was recognized by the Indigenous Community in 201.