Caledon Community Services has a long history, more than 40 years, of providing support to Caledon residents.
A group of concerned Bolton volunteers and ministers came together to open the Bolton Contact Centre in 1971, providing a crisis telephone line and informal support services, housed in various offices around Bolton.
Its popularity grew and it became a focal point for residents seeking information and access to services. When residents called requesting a service that was not available in Caledon, the organization rose to the challenge, became a catalyst and advocate in developing the needed services.
The Contact Centre evolved into the Caledon Information Centre (CIC) in the early 1980s. As an information centre, inquiries were answered about local and government services.
To increase its exposure and fundraising efforts, CIC, along with a committed group of volunteers, launched the Bolton Chez Thrift store in 1983. The outlet, selling donated clothing and household items, was created as a fundraising venture for CIC and its popularity continues to grow to this day. It has relocated three times and expanded to 12 times its original size. It is now located in the strip mall next to Dollarama. CIC took the lead in launching other community programs, including a list of home day care providers; a community calendar of local events; the Caledon Santa Fund (food and toy drive for needy families); food and gas vouchers for people in crisis and income tax clinics.
Other services were developed and launched by CCS. They include Caledon Meals on Wheels (1984); Caledon Parent-Child Centre (1987, today aligned with Ontario Early Years); the Caledon Health Coalition (1990), and Hospice Caledon (1991). These programs were eventually spun off as separate organizations and are now governed by their own boards and organizational infrastructures.
- A survey of youth in the Town of Caledon resulted in an annual Info-Line sticker for youth (crisis phone numbers)
- A transportation survey led to the launch of our volunteer driver program that transports seniors and people with disabilities to medical appointments.
- A mental health survey led to the development of satellite offices for various services out of our home office in Bolton.
Agencies from outside Caledon now provide all types of services.
In 1992, the Province of Ontario recognized Caledon as an underserviced area for seniors and people with disabilities and provided our agency with funding for a Supportive Housing program. 24-hour care for frail seniors was launched and is now provided by professional Personal Support Workers at six seniors’ apartment buildings in Caledon.
Also in 1992, a wheelchair-accessible van was purchased. This 5-passenger van provided accessible transit throughout Caledon. The Transportation Program has since grown to include seven CCS vehicles and an army of volunteers to provide scheduled transportation seven days a week for seniors and people of all ages with disabilities. Today, over 30,000 trips are made annually, some with a passenger assistant.
In 1994, the agency developed an in-home respite program for caregivers. This program allowed families caring for an elderly or disabled person a break of a few hours or a few days.
In the early 1990's the agency teamed with Peel Social Services, the YMCA and Dixie-Bloor Neighbourhood Centre to pilot Opportunity Centres with one centre serving Caledon. The Opportunity Centre’s goal was to assist social assistance recipients to become employed by providing counselling, training, and assistance with transportation and child care.
This program was transformed in 1997 with funding from the federal government. The result is now CCS Employment Services, often referred to as Jobs Caledon, which provides an employment resource centre in Bolton, outreach centre in some of Caledon's public libraries and many workshops to help those looking for employment.
In 2000, the organization's name was officially changed from Caledon Information Centre to Caledon Community Services.
In 2007, the LINC program (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) was introduced. LINC now holds day and evening English classes throughout the week and these are complimented by the "Eh Cafe", a volunteer-led coffee gathering one evening weekly that facilitates English discussions.
An innovative youth program, LIFE for Youth, joined CCS' list of services in 2008. LIFE (Learning Innovation for Future Employment) for Youth is an employability program for ages 15-30 currently not enrolled in school.
CCS has built effective links with other service providers in Peel so that they can provide satellite service to Caledon. CCS hosts and organizes the Caledon Network of service providers.
CCS also has strong links with service clubs, churches, and businesses in the Caledon community, often working with one or more of these groups to develop new services. Community groups and hundreds of residents invest regularly in CCS, particularly in one or more of its campaigns (Kidz in Caledon and the Santa Fund).
Currently Caledon Community Services has a staff team of approximately 150. These professionals are supported by more than 500 volunteers with new people and entire families coming aboard regularly to assist in every aspect of our programs and operations. Our human resources are indeed our greatest strength and are the heart of CCS.
For more information please contact us.