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United Way of Thunder Bay - Community Impact - United Way At Work Articles - Support for Families and Individuals

Support for Families and Individuals

The Catholic Family Development Centre is a non-denominational family service agency dedicated to strengthening, supporting, and empowering families, individuals and communities through high quality service. The agency offers many programs and services including the following which are funded in part by the United Way of Thunder Bay.

The First Step and Women in Need (WIN) programs for men and women are designed to end abusive behaviour toward and/or from an intimate partner.  The General Counselling program provides counselling to individuals, couples, and families for issues that may include: anxiety, divorce/separation, abuse and workplace or social problems.  The Parent Education program offers many programs such as communication, parental responsibilities and parenting styles.  R.I.S.K. Group for Women is a program for women who are making changes after being in an abusive relationship.

Edward* is one local man whose life has changed for the better thanks to help her received from the Catholic Family Development Centre. Here is his story.

Sadly, Edward had lost his infant son to cancer three-and-a-half years ago. During that time, he and his wife separated, he was fired from his job and he had become housebound.  Worried for her son’s well-being, Edward’s mother called the Centre to make the referral.  Initially, the Centre had difficulty reaching Edward despite several phone calls and voicemails. His tragic circumstances had taken him to a dark place and it was hard for him to connect with people. Once his mother intervened, a counselor was able to reach Edward and they met at a restaurant to talk.  After the counselor assessed Edward and the situation, he was determined to be a good fit for the programs and service offered by the Centre and he began to see the counselor at the office. Together, they explored the enormous grief he had suffered since losing his child, his job and his marriage. The counselor helped Edward see his inherent value as a human being, as a potential parent again and most importantly as a son to his own mother.  The counselor re-connected Edward to his parents and siblings as well as old friends.  Thanks to the support he received Edward has regained the self-confidence and hope he needs to continue to seek employment opportunities in his field and to someday become a husband and father again. He has come out of that dark place and is working towards a brighter future.

The Catholic Family Development Centre is located at 380 Dufferin Street and can be reached at 345-7323.

*name changed for privacy protection

United Way of Thunder Bay is leading the way to a better community by improving the quality of life for all local people. By collaborating with community partners, we are leading the way to addressing social issues in our community and investing in three critical areas: Poverty, Kids and Strong Communities. Donations to the United Way are strategically invested across Thunder Bay to many vital programs and initiatives in these areas, creating a social safety net that works to achieve lasting change for our neighbours, families and friends.

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