Getting started on increased services

Fundraising continues for new building for Pacific Centre Family Services Association

The Pacific Centre Family Services Association got a nice jump on covering the cost for their new facility.

A fundraiser hosted recently at Evedar’s Bistro in Langford brought in approximately $9,000 earmarked for a project due to break ground soon on Goldstream Avenue. The new 14,000-square-foot building, to be located immediately behind the association’s home inside the West Shore Child, Youth and Family Centre at 345 Wale Rd., will host community services ranging from parent and youth counselling to alcohol and drug programming.

“It’s a great kickstarter to our capital campaign, and what it shows to us is the goodwill and support in our community for our project, which is really significant for the West Shore,” said executive director Mitzi Dean. “(The association) is really investing in the future, thinking about the growth of the community and what the community needs as well.”

For the fundraiser at Evedar’s, silent auction items and food were donated, and association staff, musicians, auctioneers and emcees all donated time and skills. The proceeds go towards Pacific Centre’s $1.5-million capital campaign, which aims to offset building costs and maximize funds available for programming rather than occupancy.

“We have a brilliant team working with us … and we are really seeing a lot of community support mobilizing and galvanizing,” Dean said. “This is the only project of its kind pretty much in the whole regional district. And it’s in the heart of the West Shore.”

Due to the enormous population growth in the area, she added, the net result in maintaining the status quo is a loss in services. That puts a strain on service providers around the community, she said. The hope is to build capacity in the community for the services that are always in need.

With the land cleared at the new site, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new purpose-built facility is planned there for May 5 at 2 p.m. The new building is expected to be open for business sometime in 2017.

“People are choosing to live here and want to be here … people are coming back to the community, so we are building a sense of pride and identity in the community,” Dean said.

“That is what this building is about; it’s a statement building. The people who need our services deserve a well-designed, high-quality, trauma-informed, locally-served building to meet those needs.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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