History of Southern Frontenac Community Services Corporation
Southern Frontenac Community Services Corporation (SFCSC) came into existence in 1989 as Central Frontenac Community Services Corporation. The organization was founded to provide in-home support services for seniors and adults with physical disabilities. In 1988, a group of concerned citizens had applied to the Ministry of Community and Social Services for funding for van transportation. The group was instructed to carry out a survey to identify other area needs in the spring of 1989 and that fall funding was received to hire staff and start service provision. By February of 1990, seven services were available for individuals age 55 or over and adults with physical disabilities. Incorporation and charitable status were obtained in July of 1990. At the end of the first year of operations, the Ministry Program Supervisor stated that the organization had accomplished in one year what was anticipated in five. The Board was encouraged to expand the service area to include Storrington Township and rural Kingston Township north of Highway #401. This expansion was approved by the Membership in 1991.
The original office was located in Hartington at the Princess Anne Building. This space was quickly outgrown. When considering a new head office, the Board of Directors noted that a Sydenham location would be central for the entire catchment area. In 1991, the organization re-located to the basement of the MapleRidge Seniors Apartments owned by Loughborough Housing Corporation. In July of 2001, the organization moved to its current location at 4419 George Street. The building was named Rural VISIONS (Volunteers In Service In Our Neighborhoods) Centre in October of 2001. In 2002, the front garage was renovated to provide additional office and activity space to accommodate new projects for children age 0 to 6 and their parents.
In 2003, the Hastings, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Early Years Centre began purchasing services from SFCSC to provide Early Years activities beyond the Challenge funding.
In 2004, new funding was announced for the organization to open an Adult Day Service and then Rural VISIONS Licensed Home Child Care service was established.
After years of self-funding, Bereavement Support and Palliative Care received funding in 2005.
In 2006, initiatives to prevent homelessness were enhanced to include assistance to homeowners with mortgage or tax arrears, energy source equipment upgrades, and assistance with first or last month's rent.
The Grace Centre:
The former Grace United Church closed its doors as a Church in May 2010. The congregants at that time approached SFCSC to purchase the facility and maintain it to the benefit of seniors and the community. In May, 2011, following discussion with the South East LHIN, Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCSC) signed a three year lease to purchase arrangement with the United Church of Canada to purchase the former Grace United Church in Sydenham, ON.
In May, 2011, SFCSC was renting facilities in Sydenham and Harrowsmith. In Harrowsmith, the intention was to operate the regular Adult Day Services, Hospice Services and SFCSC’s Family Services. The facility rented in Harrowsmith was the former United Church manse. The facility in Harrowsmith did not meet acceptable and quality standards for program delivery and was deemed to be inappropriate for continued use. The facility in Sydenham had also outgrown its capacity.
SFCSC was in the process of reviewing alternative locations when the Grace Centre was offered to the Agency. In the Township of South Frontenac, there are several villages, namely Verona, Harrowsmith, Sydenham, Inverary, Battersea and Perth Road. Of these, Sydenham is the most central and the largest village at approximately 1,200 residents. The facility currently inhabited at 4419 George Street, a former automobile garage and repair centre, is perhaps the largest available rental facility in South Frontenac.
In determining that the Grace Centre was not only the best option, but the only option, a plan was formulated for the Grace Centre to consolidate all programs, services and offices into the one existing building. Once renovations began, it was determined that the Grace Hall would be unsuitable for modular offices for the six remaining staff and programs that still resided in the second Sydenham location. Therefore, with the assistance and direction of Colbourne and Kemble Architects, a plan for an extension was created that would continue to meet the needs of SFCSC, provide capabilities for an immediate 25% capacity increase and provide a one stop shopping for families seeking support through SFCSC’s Family Services, Ontario Early Years, Frontenac Community Mental Health and Addictions Services, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program and the SFCSC Food Bank.
Access to needed services within our area can be maintained with the ongoing support of our community.
In 2019 Southern Frontenac Community Services celebrates 30 years and has continued to work hard to serve seniors, low-income and at risk households in South Frontenac and rural Kingston, north of the 401. SFCSC wanted to recreate the look of the organization to match what our services and programs represent;
Enabling seniors and low income households to remain in their local community for as long as possible.
Enhancing their lives with health support services and social services – where seniors can age gracefully in their own homes and where those struggling financially can go for help.
Enriching the lives of everyone with a broad range of social and recreational programs (from the VON SMART program, yoga, tai chi, arts and cultural events to community events and support groups)