With their current building just over the rise in the background

Colwood land deal paves way for ‘wellness hub’

Pacific Centre Family Services Association looking to the future

Pacific Centre Family Services Association has closed a deal on a property purchase that will see an integrative “wellness hub” built at 324 Goldstream Ave. within two to three years.

Association executive director Mitzi Dean is excited for the opportunity to commit further to the community.

“What we’re doing now is investing in the future. Our directors have looked back and been pleased with the investment in the Heatherbell property. Our hope is that our directors in 45 years can look back and also be pleased,” she said.

The two-acre property backs directly onto their current home on Wale Road. It features established chestnut and apple trees and the type of tranquil atmosphere Dean would like to see preserved for the new centre.

“We’re going to create a wellness hub that’s a really therapeutic environment,” she said, adding she’d like to see as much outdoor therapeutic space as indoor.

Dean would like to see other health-oriented organizations join the hub and stresses that the new facility will retain the anonymity of their current home.

Whether people go to the centre for counselling, addictions, mental health or even just a trip to the Skookum Bistro café, Dean said there’s no way to tell why a person is at the centre. That anonymity lends a feeling of security that’s lacking in smaller, more specialized centres.

“You could be walking into this building for any reason. It’s non-stigmatizing and it’s completely anonymous,” she said. “We really appreciate being in a collaborative building.”

Pacific Centre Family Services will be asking for input from the public as it gets closer to the design stage for the new property. Dean said they’ve already had plenty of input from staff members as well.

The association offers many programs, including family support and counselling, youth outreach – particularly for domestic violence issues – addictions counselling and mental health assistance. It helps roughly 1,000 West Shore clients each year.

For more information about the association, visit pacificcentrefamilyservices.org.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com