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History

Sonshine Community Services has been bringing healing and hope to families in need since 1978 when individuals from Calgary’s River Park Church set out to serve homeless families in their community.

Over the years, Sonshine’s services have evolved into a full range of residential and outreach programs specializing in developing healthy families and helping families impacted by family violence in Calgary and area.

Organization Timeline

1978

River Park Church establishes Sonshine Centre and Counselling, to serve homeless individuals and families in their community.

1980

Sonshine Society of Christian Community Services is incorporated under the Societies Act, and becomes a registered charity with Revenue Canada in 1981.

1985

Sonshine Family Day Homes begins providing home-based, quality childcare for families of pre-school children requiring an affordable option.

1989

In recognition of the growing need of women and children fleeing domestic abuse, the decision was made to exclusively provide long-term residential support for this population.

1994

Sonshine Community Counselling is established to provide counselling on a sliding fee scale to individuals, couples and families, adding a prevention component to Sonshine’s service delivery model.

2004

Sonshine begins renovations on a new residential shelter facility, with the support of the Government of Alberta, Calgary Homeless Foundation and numerous individuals and organizations.

2005

Sonshine Family Day Homes becomes the first accredited Family Day Home Agency in Calgary.

2007

The new Sonshine Centre opens, offering 24 new second-stage shelter spaces to women and children fleeing violence. This represents over one-third of Calgary’s current second-stage shelter capacity.

2008

A domestic violence outreach and follow-up program is set up to work with people struggling with family violence issues, as well as to provide support for women transitioning back into the community from Sonshine Centre.

2012

Sonshine embarks on a $1 million capital campaign to raise the resources required for a specialized centre for children affected by domestic violence.

2013

The construction of Sonshine Children’s Centre is completed. It is the first licensed and accredited full-time Children’s Centre in Canada that is geared towards meeting the unique needs of children who have experienced domestic violence and other forms of emotional trauma.

2015

The Sonshine Children’s Centre opens, representing the culmination of Sonshine’s long-held vision to do more for children affected by family violence.