New bilingual health and social service hub to open in Windsor
Posted: Friday, October 24, 2014
During October, four Windsor social service providers will move into one location to create the Bilingual Health and Social Service hub. The new hub, located at 1770 Langlois Avenue in Windsor, was previewed in a presentation at the recent 2014 AGM of one of the partners, the Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic.
“Clients were coming to us for help with their legal problems but usually they had other problems as well.”
By operating in one location, each organization will be able to offer seamless services to their clients in both French and English. Family Services Windsor-Essex Counselling & Advocacy Centre, the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Essex County, the Financial Fitness Centre and the Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic will share the building’s renovated and customized main floor. As well, a nurse practitioner will be on-site five days per week for clients’ health needs.
Meeting many needs in the same place
Clients will call one number to make an appointment with any of the partner agencies, but each organization will remain independent.
The new location is a mere two blocks from the present home of the Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic, a busy and familiar community service provider that opened in 1987. Executive director Kevin Pinsonneault says the space, bought by Family Services Windsor-Essex and the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, was chosen for its easy accessibility by every client. Some organizations moved in at the end of September. The rest will follow this month.
The hub makes referrals easy
Bringing the organizations together has been a two and a half year process spurred by a mutual need to increase services to clients while watching budgets.
“Clients were coming to us for help with their legal problems but usually they had other problems as well,” explains Kevin. “We were making a lot of referrals, so we were very aware of these organizations and their services. Instead of sending a client down the road to someone who can help them, now I will say wait a second and I’ll get someone for you. If we see someone who needs a nurse practitioner or counselling, we can make an appointment for them and walk them down the hall.”
When one agency made a client referral to the other agencies in the past, the client, who might already be in crisis, had to cope with finding and travelling to another location. By being in a mutual hub, the agencies will make their complementary services far easier to access for those who need them.
“If someone doesn’t have a family doctor, we can send them to the nurse practitioner and get them some medical help,” explains Kevin. “A lot of times, people have suffered sexual abuse and now we will have the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre right there. People are also often in financial distress, so Financial Fitness can help them get their lives back in order.”
More space for more events
Office space for the Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic will be slightly smaller in its new home. But because the clinic will share the group rooms needed by Family Services and the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, it will actually have more space.
“We will be able to do many more seminars and community events in the hub because our present location is not good for that,” says Kevin.
Looking forward to moving day
The Bilingual Health and Social Service hub will officially open after all the agencies have moved in. Staff and clients alike are anticipating the change of location.
”We have had very positive feedback from our clients about the move, so we are definitely looking forward to it,” smiles Kevin. “For the opening, we’ll get a pair of those big scissors and have a ribbon cutting.”
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