People battling in the shadows of poverty, homelessness, mental illness and abuse will always have a champion in times of need, thanks to the advocacy and compassion of Katherine Kalinowski, Good Shepherd’s assistant executive director of programs.
Kalinowski was honoured with the YWCA Hamilton Women of Distinction Award for Community Development and Social Inclusion.
In her role at Good Shepherd, Kalinowski is responsible for program operations and partnering with stakeholders to build a more just, equitable and inclusive community. She oversees services that give hope to those who are in crisis and need assistance.
“Much has changed at Good Shepherd over 20 years but the relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence in serving those who are cast to the margins of our community has not,” Kalinowski told the audience at the Women of Distinction Awards ceremony.
Kalinowski has worked in progressive positions at Good Shepherd, including women’s services and the family centre, and has been an architect of an array of highly regarded service delivery models. Her experiences, which at times have been painful, have fostered a strong sense of hope and respect for women who have had the courage and spirit to face down the darkness in their lives.
“I live and work filled with hope every day,” Kalinowski said.
“While my heart has broken a thousand times over as I have watched the unique potential of individual women compromised as they struggle to survive, I have also been privileged to witness the strength, creativity and deep wells of resilience that exist in women and that will serve as the foundation for a truly inclusive and equitable community.
“I live in the faith that we can create a different kind of world…one without violence and hunger and oppression.”