Original article written by Casey Richardson, published on Castanet.
A Penticton outpatient counselling treatment centre that has been working to help people heal is in need of donations to keep running.
Pathways Counselling Resource Centre has continued operating at full force after its funding was pulled in the spring of 2021 when Interior Health announced suddenly that it would be bringing addiction services in-house.
Lee Pixley, a director with Pathways since January 2021, said he joined the board after being helped by the organization through PTSD.
“My childhood was certainly not ideal, to put it mildly, and left some scars. But I also saw some things when I was in the volunteer fire department that clung with me and it started to make my life not so good that I just didn’t really know how to be happy,” he said.
“So I came here and got counselling for the problem, and it worked.”
Pixley said he remembered being terrified to knock on the door and walk into the counselling centre at that time.
“I didn’t think anybody could ever help this situation. And lo and behold, there are experts to help me through the problem. And my life is really good these days. So I’m trying to give back in every way that I possibly can.”
Since the organization relies completely on fundraising, donations and grants to keep operating, Pixley wanted to use his own funds to advertise with the local papers and help get the word out that support was needed.
“We have been successful in keeping it going since they defunded us but we are in constant need of help,” he added.
“We want the general public to know that we appreciate everything that they can possibly give to us. And we’re trying to educate the public in more of the things that we actually do.”
While the centre used to be counselling just for addictions, now it serves individuals, couples and families with many issues ranging from trauma work, youth counselling and outreach, recovery group, and support programs.
“Pathways is over 40 years old, and it has helped thousands of people in the community over the years,” Pixley said.
Stephen King has been a counsellor at Pathways since 1989 and said he’s proud of the work they all have done over the years.
“We like to think our doors are open for anybody who comes through and we see them as quickly as possible. And we complement the other services that are available,” he said.
“We would like to think that we’re here for people who can’t afford to pay for services and people who can afford. So we work with anyone from people who are homeless, literally to people who are professionals, and dealing with a whole host of issues.”
Over 1,000 people this past year received confidential counselling support and outreach support, according to Pathways.
“I like to think that we live up to our role of being supportive for the clients in their goals. We’re not here to tell people what to do. We try and accommodate and provide assistance and advocacy in them achieving whatever their goals may be,” Pixley said.
Pixley said he wants the community to know of all of the things that Pathways accomplishes.
“It’s a real honour to help these people. They are so devoted. All of these people underneath this roof are so devoted, that I just burst with pride every time I’m talking there any one of them,” he added.
Donations can be made to Pathways online through pathwaysaddictions.ca , by e-transfer firstname.lastname@example.org or in person/by mail to #1 – 996 Main St., Penticton, BC V2A.