Kimberly Barwich

Kimberly Barwich

2017 Leadership Award - Lower Mainland

Burnaby Neighbourhood House

Nominator Comments:

Kimberly Barwich has dedicated her career and whole self to developing the inclusive Burnaby Neighbourhood House (BNH) that exists today. Hired as the lone staff member in 1999, she accepted a part-time job of program coordinator. Kimberly supported the board of directors to set up a very small storefront that became a welcoming place and she supported a monthly “sharing of cultures” dinner (out of a church basement) which promoted the work of Neighbourhood Houses as building, welcoming and inclusive communities. Her position quickly turned into a full-time program director as she worked with the board of directors to grow the organization.

With a commitment to partnerships and working within the community to identify gaps in services, Kimberly provided the leadership that supported the growth of Neighbourhood House Programs. This began with the growth of afterschool programs and licensed school age childcare where she established five school-age licensed centres within a six-year time span. At the same time, she provided leadership to establishing the Neighbourhood House family resource programs, community kitchens and the youth leadership programs. Now in 2017, the Burnaby Neighbourhood House operates two locations (South and North), nine daycare centres and a community hall.

Among all achievements and accomplishments, a significant legacy that Kimberly has created is the exceptional targeted friendship clubs (partially funded by United Way), which BNH offers in partnership with select schools in Burnaby. Kimberly has developed these programs over the past 15 years to provide social emotional development support to children who need it most.
After years of developing school age programs, early years and family resource supports, and youth leadership, it was time for BNH to address the growing needs of vulnerable seniors in our community. Kimberly worked with staff to establish the very successful seniors outreach ambassador program in addition to senior led Neighbourhood House programs. This has become a quickly growing area for Burnaby Neighbourhood House and Kimberly has embraced this challenge, developing programs and supports with minimal financial resources. Looking to seniors as leaders, she has worked with her team to create a model of Active Seniors volunteering in numerous capacities at the Neighbourhood House.

Kimberly is also an advocate of the team that she leads and believes that staff training and being prepared with the proper tools and skills will lead to the success of our particIpants. Kimberly is a supportive leader, full of energy and a sense of humour, who makes everyone smile. She also understands the importance of telling our story and measuring outcomes. As such, she has become an expert on logic models and identifying and measuring outcomes that demonstrate the impact of the Neighbourhood House programs. Through Kimberly’s commitment and leadership, we moved the organization into a shared organizational outcome model.

As a long time program director and full-time employee of the Burnaby Neighbourhood House, Kimberly has been instrumental in shaping the organization. As her nominator, I have worked alongside her all these years and have witnessed the impact that she had made in shaping social services in Burnaby and in impacting so many peoples’ lives.

Have you been helped by a human service champion? We would love to hear about it.

Submit your story