Community Helping Community with Southern Frontenac Community Services
David Townsend is a man with a positive view of life. “We say ‘yes’ to almost everyone who walks through our door,” says Townsend, Executive Director of the Southern Frontenac Community Services Corporation (SFCSC), a social services organization that serves people north of Kingston. “Almost 30 years ago, we were formed to help seniors in our catchment area – rural Kingston north of Highway 401 as well as the Township of South Frontenac. We’ve expanded and offer four main streams of service, including all age groups.” The SFCSC home base is the Grace Centre, the repurposed, heritage Grace United Church in Sydenham. In total, there are 19 staff, 210 active volunteers and 25 brokered workers (community members paid to provide support services like minor maintenance and home meal preparation). According to Townsend, SFCSC is always open to new volunteers. “The more volunteers we have to help, the more help we can provide to the community. It’s really community helping community.” There is a senior population of about 5,000 in the catchment area and SFCSC is involved in helping about a thousand of them. The Seniors and Community Support Services include an adult day program, homemaking assistance, meals on wheels (one of the few services with a cost), home maintenance, foot care and palliative care. The organization recently received funding to operate the new Grace Social Activity Centre, a miniature seniors’ association aimed at those over 60 who are well and want to maintain their wellness. There is a modest annual fee to participate in social outings, the book club, tea dances, café, pickleball and day trips into Kingston for activities like aquafit. Transportation to and from the Grace Centre can be arranged through the program. SFCSC also reaches out to help those in all age groups who may find themselves in difficult situations in life. “Last year we helped just over 300 households stay housed through our Homelessness Prevention Services, including 35 households that were absolutely without a place to live,” says Townsend. “If you are not able to support the house where you are living, our workers may help find grants to cover past utility bills or help find a more suitable place to live. This service is available to all age groups.” There’s also a food bank that helps 50 to 60 households each month. In summer, a 5,000-sqft garden is maintained by two-dozen dedicated volunteers to grow food and boost the shelves at the food bank. “To find out more or to access the services, just call. A physician may make a referral but you don’t need to be referred by anyone – just walk through our front door.” www.sfcsc.ca story was provided by Treasure Chest Bingo for commercial purposes. Postmedia’s editorial department had no involvement in the creation of this content.