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History

The Society was first incorporated in 1989, as Wells Grey Community Resources Society, in response to an identified need to have a nonprofit organization as an umbrella agency by which services and programs could be offered to individuals and families who are residents in the catchment area. The notion held at that time still remains perfectly valid; largely because of economies of scale and a large geographical area that is serviced, it is far more efficient and effective with respect to program efficacy. The operations of YCS very much reflect the principals of an integrated service delivery system. Although our integration is as much born out of necessity, it is also a belief we closely hold that through an integrated delivery system, programs and services better meet the needs of our clients, communities and partners.

YCS has a long history of program and service development in the North Thompson Valley. In our early years, some of our initial funders were the Interior Health Authority, Ministry of Children and Family Development, and the Ministry of Women's Equality. The focus of our Society was to provide services primarily targeting vulnerable adults and some vulnerable youth. Beginning in 1997, our Agency began to identify ways to bring more services into the North Thompson Valley, paying particular attention to those services being provided by itinerant and outreach services. As opportunities emerged, collaboration with YCS and other service providers resulted in transfers of funds and program responsibilities to address inefficiencies related to travel time, travel costs, and other cost pressures, thus creating increased program capacity.

In doing so, and again related to economies of scale, it was necessary for YCS to integrate funding streams where skills sets, knowledge, and client bases demonstrated remarkable similarity. While many of our staff have specialized knowledge, their job duties reflect a more generalized approach to program delivery, and many of our staff have responsibilities for between two and five program areas.

Contract funding associated with our programs would not support separate agencies, nor do we believe in this ‘silo’ approach to service delivery. This was clearly recognized in the North Thompson in 2002 resulting in a collaboration of many organizations under the banner of "Building Community Partnerships" which contemplated the integration of many of the existing services to ensure their long term sustainability. Two of these entities, namely:  the Community Resource Centre of the North Thompson and Clearwater Employment Services were being operated by other entities. Knowing that they could not provide the administrative and managerial infrastructure to support the Employment Services program, it was agreed that YCS would be best suited to deliver this program in Clearwater. Additionally, the Community Resource Centre of the North Thompson (CRC) became a division of Yellowhead Community Services Society (YCS) in May 2011. Again, this shift was born out of financial and administrative necessity and to ensure the long term viability of those services that the CRC operated.

In 2003 we organized and hosted the very 1st Rural Communities Summit in BC. This was a solution focussed conference where approximately 250 representatives of other rural community agencies and municipal governments, including the Premier of British Columbia and 20 of his Ministers were invited to Clearwater to discuss and problem solve issues particular to rural communities; included were many workshops addressing policies, best practices and developing networks for continuing collaborative initiatives and discussion. 

Our efforts have been largely successful, particularly in the area of Early Childhood Development services, but also in a wide range of other program areas including Mental Health/Addictions, Community Living Services and programs that support low income and working families such as an expansion of our transportation system and the development of daycares and preschools. With the most recent additions of Employment Services and the CRC services, YCS continues to work with our community partners to develop and deliver programs and services needed to promote healthy communities, families and individuals living in the North Thompson Valley.

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1st Annual Rural Communities Summit - Clearwater BC 2003