Announcement of Family Enrichment Centre Closure – August 31, 2015

 

Over the last 34 years, the Catholic faith community and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault St. Marie have led initiatives in providing for the emotional, relational and spiritual needs of the people of this region. The Family Enrichment Centre is a charitable institution that was originally founded under the Catholic Centre in 1981, and then privately incorporated in 1994 under a volunteer Board of Directors.  We have been privileged to work alongside many wonderful community providers, employers, parish communities and colleagues in the years that followed.  Our mission has been to provide a holistic place for healing of the mind, heart and spirit for ALL, but especially for those with limited means. We believe that our commitment and faithfulness to this mission has helped us achieve this goal.

Our primary mission has been to be responsive to the vulnerable and those in need in our community within the limits of practical charity.  Faced with increasingly difficult administrative, personnel, and financial challenges in fulfilling the vision and mission for which we were founded, we announce with heavy hearts, our Board of Directors’ decision to close the Family Enrichment Centre.  This decision was reached after prayerful and careful discernment and consultation in response to the following key considerations:

 

·         We soon will have no Religious personnel available to lead the organization and despite considerable efforts to find a qualified psychologist or Masters level therapist to assume the position of Executive Director, we have been unsuccessful at recruiting an individual with the essential professional, administrative and ministry skills. 

 

·         Our volunteer Board of Directors has provided many years of service and commitment to this ministry due to their affiliation, dedication and support of the works of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  With diminishing number of Religious involved in this ministry over the past years, they also see their leadership role as having been fulfilled and now ending. 

 

·         We have faced increasing difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified (Master level) counsellors willing to work at non-profit hourly rates in order to meet the professional requirement of many of our 3rd party funding programs (e.g., Employee/Family Assistance Programs - EFAP). A lack of guaranteed funding precludes being able to offer competitive salaried positions or benefits.

 

·         We have experienced an ever increasing need to shift focus to additional income generating/cost recovery activities to ensure adequate funding is available to carry out our non-profit work and mission.  This shift has been accompanied by increasing administrative costs and drain on personnel and financial resources.

 

·         There exists sufficient competent and accessible “for profit” counselling agencies/providers and provincially funded mental health care services.  We do not wish to duplicate services or compete with existing community programs in order to grow our “for profit/social enterprise” income generating activities in order to fund our charitable, non-profit works.

 

·         The recent sale of our existing rental space and anticipated challenges and cost of finding suitable and affordable space to relocate our ministry and programs.

We will use the months ahead to support our staff and transition our clients to other appropriate community providers as needed.  We will continue to accept new referrals for short-term counselling for as long as possible, hopefully until July 1, 2015.    Our sincere desire and hope is that the care and services we have provided to our clients, employees and faith communities within Sudbury will continue under the leadership and direction of our community partners.

This notification was approved on February 17, 2015 by the Family Enrichment Centre Board of Directors.  The following officers of the Board of Directors may be contacted directly for further comment or questions.