From Abusive Relationships to Finding Purpose in Work
I have seen such growth and changes over the years, and see constant examples of how the work that we do is an integral part of health and healing. I am so excited to continue creating a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable community. -Rhonda Elias-Penner, Thrives Executive Director
Hello! My name is Kathy. I have resided in the Downtown area of Winnipeg for over 28 years. I left 2 abusive relationships and was a single mother of 2 when I came across Pregnancy Distress Services on Furby Street in the early 1990’s. I never knew such a place existed. This began my journey with what is now known as Thrive! I started to take advantage of the programming that was offered. I was now a mother of 4; 2 older ones in elementary, a toddler and a newborn. During my time at the Family Community Centre, I connected with a lot of other families and took full advantage of the respite program. Shortly after, I began volunteering at the Spence Street Thrift Shop. I enjoyed the atmosphere, others who volunteered there, which led me to volunteering on a regular basis. Tragedy struck my family in 2008 with the loss of my partner. It left me and my family devastated. In the days that followed, a lot of family and friends stopped by. I was surprised to see three workers from the Family Community Centre at the funeral service. It was then that I knew these people who worked at Thrive, really genuinely cared for the families that access and utilize their programs and services.
The next two years were a blur, a roller coaster of emotions and changes. I was now a widow and a single mother of 4. I felt so lost and devastated with little to no help from family. This went on for around three years. I found myself once again at the Family Community Centre.
Fast forward again a few years, I was now in need of childcare for my now three year old son. After getting my son into the Thrive Child Care, I decided to start working on myself once again. I wanted to build myself up both mentally and emotionally. I started accessing therapy through what is now Thrive Community Support Circle. I took a “Loss and Grief” program while still accessing therapy.
It was at this point I decided to start volunteering once again at the Thrive Thrift Shop. I stayed there for awhile till I was asked if I would like to volunteer at the Thrive Resource Centre located next door. I was kind of hesitant at first. I was also nervous and scared to volunteer on that side because I have never worked there before. In November 2018, while I was volunteering at the Thrive Resource Centre, I was offered a casual position! I really enjoy it. Thrive was and still is very helpful and they go out of their way to help you in whatever situation you are in. It was here that I finally realized what I wanted to do in life. I want to help people. At this time, I am proud to say I have applied to enter into upgrading my education. From there I plan on enrolling in the Family Support Worker program at Urban Circle Training Centre. If it wasn’t for the opportunity of having to volunteer at the Thrive Resource Centre, I wouldn’t have known how fulfilling it is to be able to be a part of a support team for individuals. Thrive has been and continues to be a very important part of my life and healing journey. I honestly don’t know where I would be today if it weren’t for all of the support Thrive has given me. I can’t say thank you enough to Thrive for being there when I needed you. You are truly a blessing to the community!
Thrive Community Support Circle is an inner-city agency dedicated to cultivate family, to empower individuals, and to grow community by offering a wide variety of the best quality services and programs, to support women, men and children of all ages and at all stages in life.
When the Adams family founded Thrive Community Support Circle began in 1973 as a crisis line for pregnant women (Formerly Pregnancy Distress Service & Pregnancy and Family Support Services Inc.), they never imagined they would expand to be such an important resource and staple of the West End community.
Through a participant-led holistic approach to health and healing, they provide practical and basic needs like food, clothing, safety, and family supports, such as; parenting , child care, community resources, and support for physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Thrive believes people and community will always be successful when you have cooperation, collaboration and communication with one another… we couldn’t agree more.
Join I AM LOVE PROJECT's fundraiser this month in support of a non-profit organization that has truly been caring for women and families of Winnipeg for generations. Thrive Community Support Circle: A Resource Centre, Therapy Department, Child Care Centre, Thrift Shop and so much more.
Visit their website for more information on how you can support Thrive Community Support Circle by donation or volunteering.