On February 14 the Nelson Community Services Centre (NCSC) will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with an open house at its central offices in the Community First Health Co-op building at 518 Lake Street.
Everyone is welcome to attend the open house from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and to visit informally with the staff and board members of NCSC.
Former NCSC employee Heather Haake will reflect on the early history of the organization and how it has evolved over the years.
“We would love to welcome the community, fellow service providers as well as our former staff, board members and clients from the past four decades, who have all helped make NCSC what it is today,” said executive director, Lena Horswill.
“Forty years ago a small group of concerned Nelsonites recognized a need for a grassroots community counseling and referral service and obtained a LIP grant from the federal government to get it started.
“From those early beginnings as a federally funded job creation program, NCSC has evolved into the highly professional, accredited organization it is today with three separate facilities, 11 individual service programs, 23 full-time and part-time staff, and a budget in excess of $1.5 million per year — almost all from the Province of British Columbia.”
The agency operates the Aimee Beaulieu Transition House, a 24-hour temporary refuge for women victims of violence and their children as well as the 11 unit Cicada Place transitional housing program for at-risk youth. The main office on Lake Street accommodates its counseling, parenting, outreach and family support programs as well as its administrative staff.
Horswill pointed out that, although the BC government is the principal funder of NCSC programs, the community’s generous financial contributions make it possible for the agency to provide direct assistance to individual clients to enable them to address vital personal needs not covered by provincial funding.
Judith Mitchell, chair of the NCSC board of directors, suggested the key to its success is their philosophy: the belief in each person’s inherent ability, responsibility and right to be heard, to be safe, to have information, to make choices and to take control of one’s life.
“The commitment of our staff to this philosophy as well as their passion for their work and dedication to the wellbeing of their clients have made NCSC what it is today,” said Mitchell.
Refreshments will be served at the open house. For more information call 250-352-3504.