FCSS makes a difference
Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) makes a difference in the lives of Calgarians. We are proud to share some of our success stories with you. If you would like to share how FCSS has made a positive impact in your organization or client’s lives, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: These stories are published with permission from the people involved. Names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Outcome area: Positive Child and Youth Development
The Catholic Family Service Calgary – Athlete’s Mentoring Program
Bruce and Carol registered their daughter Ashley in the Athlete’s Mentoring Program after hearing about it from her school. At the time, she was very shy and struggling to make friends at school. Through Athlete’s Mentoring, she built a close relationship with her mentor, learned more about herself, gained self-esteem and learned how to build meaningful friendships.
“I love my mentor, she is like a sculptor and she helped sculpt my personality," said Ashley, at the celebration party. "My mentor made me realize who I was on the inside.”
Outcome Area: Family Cohesion and Positive Parenting
Families Matter Society of Calgary – Parent Support Services
Sheila was suffering post-partum depression and desperately needed help. She reached out to Families Matter where she met a support worker who reassured her that she would get better.
Families Matter became her place to be honest when she was at her most vulnerable.
“Because of them, I gained tools that I can use now and for the rest of my life,” said Sheila.
Families Matter Society of Calgary - Successful Young Parents Program
Sandra and Rob, both in their twenties with two young daughters, joined the program in February 2016. Rob was struggling to overcome an addiction that began in adolescence and had significant impact on his family. After the birth of their first daughter, he began stealing from Sandra to pay for his addiction which resulted in the family moving into a homeless shelter in Calgary where they remained for approximately one year. This naturally impacted their relationship due to feelings of anger, resentment and mistrust. Since beginning the program, they are enjoying nearly one year of Rob’s sobriety, have moved into a three bedroom apartment and are both fully engaged in a variety of support programs at Families Matter.
Outcome Area: Adult Personal Capacity and Economic Self-Sufficiency
The Kerby Centre – Financial and Social Benefits Program
Sam is an elderly Chinese-Canadian citizen. He arrived at the Kerby Centre Information Department in crisis: he had been living alone with no food or income. The Kerby Centre referred him to the food bank and helped him file several years of taxes. This enabled him to apply for eligible federal and provincial benefits. A few months later, the Kerby Centre helped Sam apply for subsidized housing. Now he has a place to live and enough income to support his needs.
“Coming to the Kerby Centre is a life changing experience for me”, said Sam.
Outcome Area: Positive Social Ties
Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary - Volunteer Development Program
A young man recently immigrated to Canada and was a client at the Centre for Newcomers. He wanted to gain Canadian experience so they encouraged him to volunteer as a teacher. He was always excited to go to class, as he was able to help friends of all ages from many countries. They became a big family, creating a rich and comfortable environment for learning and integration to flourish. “I learned we can do amazing things to help educate and integrate newcomers to Canada,” he says.
Seniors Programs - Bow Cliff Seniors, Bowness Seniors, Confederation Park 55+ Club, Good Companions 50 Plus Club, Greater Forest Lawn Seniors Citizens Society, Ogden House Senior Citizens’ Club, Parkdale Nifty Fifties Seniors Association, and West Hillhurst Go-Getters
Seniors Programs are delivered at eight seniors’ centres, all of which promote social connections and reduces social isolation among seniors by providing programs and services that are accessible, affordable, and account for health, mobility and cultural considerations. Seniors programs are intended to promote and enable physical, mental, and social engagement within the community.
A participant from the West Hillhurst Go-Getters – Seniors Programs said, “I joined the Go-Getters 3 years ago just before the passing of my husband. The activity that I joined at that time was Country Line Dancing, a class that has been fulfilling in many ways! Besides the wonderful welcome from Carole and Cassandra, there are so many great people that attend. Those that are more senior than me are a great inspiration and make me feel ‘part of the group’. It has not only provided me with improved health and fitness by taking the dance class, but the Go-Getters has provided me with friendship. It is a place of great support and networking to be around people in a similar situation as myself. There are numerous opportunities to join in many outings at classes at the Go-Getters thanks to the gals in the office and their creativity. It is a one of a kind group and I am thankful to belong.”
Outcome Area: Healing from Inter-generational Trauma
Metis Calgary Family Service - Calgary AfterSchool Little Thunderbirds Program
The program goal is to increase social inclusion among vulnerable Aboriginal children through specific culturally based activities such as sports, art, music, and traditional teachings from Aboriginal adults and Elders.
Metis Calgary Family Service shared this story:
“We are building on empowering our children in their cultural identity. One of our participants started our program and was known as being a ‘problem child’. The participant was argumentative, a bully to the other children and a large stress factor for many of the program workers. Now, this participant has developed close relations with the staff and with other children and is steadily learning to put trust in other people. Their attitude has since undergone a significant and positive shift. The child used to sit in the corner and fool around during Pow Wow Dance lessons, but now gets excited to participate, strengthening his cultural identity and self-esteem. The participant now speaks more confidently, especially to adults. One of our participants has admittedly struggled with depression at a very young age. Coming to our program every day has given the participant a reliable safe space to be their self, and to be proud of their cultural identity. Specifically, this child has grown through Pow Wow Dance and now shares openly during “Sharing Circle”.
Community-based reconciliation in Rosscarrock
Rosscarrock residents initiated community-based reconciliation conversations to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s (TRC) call for action. They organized interactive activities centered on traditional Indigenous drumming and singing and invited families and residents to learn about Indigenous history and what it means to live on Treaty 7 land.
This event sparked the residents’ commitment to act upon the findings of the TRC and work together on the path of healing and justice.
“The drumming circle was a great opportunity to connect with neighbours," said one resident. "I learned we all have hidden talents within our community. Hearing a strong beat coming from so many brought me a sense of peace.”