Why We Exist
The valuable services CCCSA offered touch the hearts of many, it helps immigrant families integrate into Canada and become empowered to become citizens leading dynamic and prosperous lives:
We care for our clients and support them through their hard times
Ms. C started working at the age of 17 and taking care of three children at the same time. With little to no help from her husband, Ms. C worked very hard for the family and also paid off the debts that her husband had accumulated. The relationship between Ms. C and her husband finally broke apart.
In 2000, Ms. C was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and had to receive treatment. In 2005, she decided to move to Calgary. It was tough starting off fresh into another country, she had trouble adapting to the new environment, she had a language barrier and was financially strapped. Encountering all these difficulties, she became depressed again and she suffered insomnia. Worse still, her doctor had told her that her spinal cord was compressed and that her 4th vertebrae had shifted.
The physical and mental suffering brought her into deep despair, the feeling of being hopeless and helpless overcame her. One day as she was wandering on the street, trying to kill time, she shoplifted in a store and was caught and immediately handed over to the authorities. Actually, she was mentally incapable of making sound judgements, she could not tell right from wrong and she had no idea what she was doing.
Guilt, shame and regret hit her and that’s when she turned to the Calgary Chinese Community Service Association (CCCSA) for help. Through the legal clinic which was held in partnership between CCCSA and Calgary Legal Guidance, a volunteer lawyer explain to her about her situation and give her guidance on the steps she needed to take. CCCSA staff gave Ms. C. a lot of support including accompanying her to the court appearance and helping her with the necessary procedures to enter the Mental Health Diversion Program, where Ms. C went through a four month program offered by Alberta Health Services. Ms. C successfully completed the program, her charges were withdrawn and her mental conditions were properly dealt with. Now, smiles reappeared on her face and she has turned a new page in her life.
To this day, Ms. C is thankful to everyone who helped her throughout her life and is grateful to have to stepped foot in CCCSA.
“I want to thank CCCSA for getting me through this experience and would suggest that all who needs help or wants to volunteer call CCCSA.”
Our Impact: a few client indicators…
Last year, our front desk served 2,763 clients and a total of 5,327 clients received CCCSA services. We also had 542 volunteers contributing over 12,260 hours with CCCSA.
We’ve learned that 80% of our clients have increased knowledge of life in Canada – including laws, rights and responsibilities. We’ve also learned that 80% of our clients have increased knowledge of culturally appropriate parenting skills and also feel they have the necessary supports to experience greater family wellness.
We’ve also found that 80% of clients have decreased social isolation and experience a sense of belonging in Canada, which links directly to our mission.