Published On: Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Wellness in the West Shore: The Pacific Centre Has a Plan

Wellness in the West Shore: The Pacific Centre Has a Plan

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WEST SHORE - The WestShore Chamber’s February Mixer is being hosted on the 10th by the Pacific Centre Family Services Association (PCFSA). It is therefore perfect timing to tell you about their plans for a new Wellness Centre on Goldstream Avenue. This will be a 15,000 square feet centre of regional significance, based on Trauma-Informed design. While the whole second floor will be the counselling and meeting suites for PCFSA, the approximately 7,200 square feet of street level space will be available for rental from other health and wellness professionals.

PCFSA has been serving the community since 1968 and prides itself on taking a true pulse of the needs of families in our region. It is in order to continue to operate excellent services to a rapidly growing community that PCFSA is investing in this new building. They will also continue to offer services from their other collaborative locations.

PCFSA serves 1000 adults and children each year, and they are finding there is an increase in pressure on services every year. In November 2015 there were 50 youth who had requested service from PCFSA and could not be immediately allocated a counsellor. Mitzi Dean Executive Director says with urgency that “the planned new building is essential for PCFSA to be able to expand our high quality programs in response to community growth.”

This increased demand for services led the PCFSA Board to approve the acquisition of a strategically located development site in the heart of Colwood. Over the course of the year that PCFSA has owned this two acre site, there has been tremendous engagement from a wide cross section of stakeholder groups as to the mission of planning a “wellness centre of regional significance.” These groups include the City of Colwood (who recently approved three zoning variances), Vancity (who is providing construction financing), and the citizens of the West Shore (who attended the Open House.)

This project is a significant development for the region and will aid the continued growth and economic development of the community.

“The City of Colwood is excited that Pacific Centre Family Services Association has purchased land to build a facility in our community. We have supported their youth programs for over 30 years and see how effective and cost saving their service is," says Councillor Cynthia Day of the City of Colwood. “Knowing the high level of need, waiting lists for child and family counselling, and the lack of counselling offices, we understand the need for more community-based options for children and families in need.”

While this centre is being supported with funds from the sale of another building, this sale will not cover the cost of the whole project. PCFSA has launched a campaign to raise funds through donations and in kind contributions. Funding is being sought from all levels of government, businesses, foundations and the public.

Would you like to help with in kind or financial support? Please contact Mitzi Dean on 250.886.2481.

- Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250-478-1130 or jlawlor@westshore.bc.ca.