Karen O’Shannacery has dedicated herself for more than four decades as a housing advocate for the homeless and disenfranchised, working to find solutions and provide comfort to people living on Vancouver’s downtown eastside.
Ms. O’Shannacery’s compassion for those less fortunate has led to the establishment of quality resources and housing. She is a tireless advocate for homeless people, a respected, well-spoken leader and a team player who works across boundaries to achieve change.
Among her many successes, Ms. O’Shannacery has led the development of Lookout Society and its 17 housing projects, including three multi-use buildings, the renovation of two single-room occupancy buildings and the opening of Antoinette Lodge, subsidized housing on the downtown eastside.
She co-founded a provincial Shelter Network and was instrumental in the purchase and renovation of New Westminster’s former College Place night club, which now serves as a homeless shelter and transitional housing.
Ms. O’Shannacery has served on many committees, boards and organizations. These include the Greater Vancouver Shelter Strategy committee, the Urban Core Workers Community Association and municipal task forces on homelessness in Burnaby, New Westminster and North Shore. She is a long-standing member of the Metro Vancouver’s Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness.
For her continuing contributions, Ms. O’Shannacery has been honoured by many organizations, locally, regionally, provincially and nationally. She acknowledges Lookout’s dedicated staff and her loving family for supporting her passion.