The Family Resource Association is closing its Qualicum Beach office, but there will not be any change in their services.
“We will still serve the whole District 69 catchment area,” said executive director Deborah Joyce. She added that 65-70 per cent of their services are outreach, done at clients homes or other locations.
“Most child development services go to the home anyway, for example.”
They also currently serve the entire region without offices in all the smaller communities, Joyce said, so they are used to it. She said the decision was made “because it is more cost effective to be in one location,” and they feel it will benefit them in integrating their services.
“With everyone in one location there is a lot more collaboration and it’s less confusing for clients,” she said, explaining that people frequently go to the wrong location for their first appointment.
The FRA offers professional services like counselling and support programs for children, youth and families in need.
Joyce didn’t know off-hand how long the non-profit organization had been in the Qualicum Beach house, but guessed at least 15 years and lavished praise on the town, which owns the building on Sunningdale Road.
“We’ve always had great support from the town and the mayor, including lower rent — they’ve really taken care of us,” she said, admitting it will be hard to find another, smaller location. She said they are looking for a small, single office space, or small storefront for a bit of a base in Qualicum Beach, but that it could be a tricky process since they have a lot of issues to balance like client privacy, location and cost, but anyone with a space could contact them, she suggested.
“We have a real affinity for Qualicum Beach. We want to be there.”
In the meantime, clients who have trouble getting to Parksville for appointments should let them know, Joyce said, indicating they will try to make arrangements. The FRA will be hosting an open house in Parksville in mid-November and will be doing their popular Christmas hamper program again. For more information call 250-752-6766 or visit www.d69fra.org.