Reflecting on PCRS
Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) has been serving the communities in and around the Lower Mainland for almost 40 years. Reflecting on the history of PCRS tells the story of how strong values and big ideas have driven these extraordinary achievements over our existence.
We began our journey as Nisha Children’s Society in 1984 when we opened our founding programs: Eagle High, Chimo House and Park House. Our founder Ruth Annis envisioned an organization that elevated the standards of social services for participants and staff.
Nisha set out to live out its values from the beginning, providing strong wages, benefits, and training for employees while sustaining a deep commitment to the needs of our participants. With these values at the forefront of our work, the team developed an increasing number and range of quality services for youth and families and volunteered to become one the first agencies to take on the accreditation process in the province (a commitment to exceed or meet internationally set standards for business practices and quality).
This people-centred model drove the agency’s commitment to excellence, inspired numerous innovative services, and has strengthened our reputation over the years. Those lived values guided us to make the decision in 2002 to return our agency name to the Coast Salish people in a ceremony and take on the name of Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS).
PCRS is on the forefront of emerging best practices in our services. Our advocacy and participation in Canada-wide research has led to meaningful changes in practice and larger societal systems. Our work with community partners and government helped to pioneer the multi-services “hub model.” This led to the development of multiple youth hubs across Surrey and Vancouver.
At the Broadway Youth Resource Centre (BYRC) we attached Kwayatsut Housing which offered the first youth-specific LGBTQ housing in Canada. This led PCRS to developing more youth housing initiatives in Surrey, the success of which inspired BC Housing to partner with PCRS to replicate the Foyer Model of transitional youth housing, widely recognized as a best practice in housing.
PCRS was also awarded a new supportive modular housing project in Surrey in collaboration with the City of Surrey, CMHC and BC Housing. We are excited to expand our housing continuum with these 30 self-contained units, offering safe and affordable housing for youth and young adults.
PCRS has also been a leader in addictions services, developing a unique-to-BC health and housing centre in Chilliwack over ten years ago, integrating counselling, employment services, health services, and housing for street homeless under one roof. PCRS has continued to develop inspiring spaces that reflect the value of participants and staff alike.
In 2019 we opened the City Centre Youth Hub in Surrey a new facility that was designed to create a safe and youth centred environment. In 2021, PCRS opened Traverse, a new 20 bed youth substance use treatment centre in Chilliwack. And in 2023, PCRS will open Foundry Surrey, a new youth hub that brings health and social services together to make it easier for young people ages 12-24 to get the care, connection and support they need.
The evolution from Nisha to where PCRS stands almost 40 years later is a culmination of innovation, creativity, passion, partnership, leadership and the empowerment of participants and staff. Our community continues to face growing and evolving challenges and PCRS is committed to providing services that inspire healthy and inclusive communities.