2015 is the 40th anniversary of the James Bay Community Project (JBCP) and today the vision of the project is for a, “Healthy, inclusive community in James Bay and beyond, where families, youth, seniors and other community members find the support they need.” After 40 years, JBCP still listens to the community and strives to respond to their needs. With over 300 volunteers, community volunteer work remains more important than ever.
The James Bay Community Association was founded by the James Bay United Church and Reverend Ken Woods and Marion Woods. 40 years ago a community office was opened to listen to resident’s ideas and to sign up volunteers for community work and Rob Dill was hired as a Community Coordinator. After being selected for an urban pilot project to deliver integrated delivery health and social services a Community Board was voted in under the Provincial Resources Board Act and the first chair was David Wolochow.
There has been four decades of tremendous growth and change. During the 70’s educational support programs started and a community office located in James Bay Square housed probation, child welfare and income assistance. The 70’s was also the decade when the Senior’s Advisory Council was launched and a recycling trailer was introduced to James Bay.
The 80/90’s was a time of development for core programs; health services, home support and community services. A co-op child minding service started as did the formation of Seniors Connections which is still going today and celebrating its 15th anniversary. This was also when the current building was purchased and a capital campaign was launched called “Under one Roof’ to locate all of JBCP’s services to 547 Michigan St.
As for many societies and organizations periods of growth are often tempered with more challenging times and in the period between 1997-2009 cuts to funding in Family and Community Services led to the loss of a Community Development Worker and a new funding model led to a Doctor crisis in 2002.
JBCP continues to grow and develop; sometimes saying goodbye and wishing well to services it has birthed such as the Victoria Youth Clinic and at other times forming new partnerships such as Victoria Better at Home. Today the Family Resource Centre is thriving and busy, serving children from 0-5years. The Youth Outreach Worker and Family Counsellor are supporting children, youth and their families and the Senior’s Outreach Workers are connecting seniors and adults with disabilities to the volunteers and services they need.
At the core of the many twists and turns that JBCP has taken over the years have been the people, the community. It is the reason JBCP started, to serve and respond to those in need. Nothing essentially has changed and today JBCP is here; for children, families, seniors and adults with disabilities; for those who are hungry, unwell, lonely and vulnerable.
There have been so very many people who have contributed to JBCP over the years, the founders, board members, volunteers, staff and participants – and everyone has a story.
This site is the start of collecting your memories and preserving the history of JBCP and the community. Do you have a memory/story of JBCP over the last 4 decades? Perhaps you have some photos tucked away. We’d love to hear from you please contact: Paula Greenepgreene@jbcp.ca 250.388.7844 Ext 309.