facebook

Archway Stories

Every year, thousands of people walk through our doors seeking support and resources. Here are a few stories of how we’ve played a role in assisting members of our community as they forge a path forward.

It Takes a Village – Parenting Through a Pandemic, PSTD and Cancer

It Takes a Village – Parenting Through a Pandemic, PSTD and Cancer

When Jenelle was seven months pregnant with her first child, her husband, Dave, went on medical leave due to post-traumatic stress disorder. He withdrew as he worked through the trauma he had experienced working as a 911 dispatcher.   “It was really, really hard on...

Employment Programs Help Job Seekers Navigate the Changing Economy

Employment Programs Help Job Seekers Navigate the Changing Economy

2020 was a tough year in the job market as many people across the globe lost their jobs for various COVID-related reasons. The lack of events and foreign tourism decimated some industries while entirely new careers were created.    To continue equipping job...

Syrian Refugees Families Thriving and Giving Back

Syrian Refugees Families Thriving and Giving Back

When Syrian refugee Mohammad Ali and his family arrived in Canada they needed help with housing, settling into the community, and starting school in a new country. Now less than four years later, the family is thriving in their new community and Ali (as his family...

The Diversity Education Program sees a Spike in Incident Reports

The Diversity Education Program sees a Spike in Incident Reports

Paulette* has four especially vivid memories of experiencing racism and has flashbacks anytime there’s a traumatic event being reported. There was no escaping news of racism as the Black Lives Matter movement started gaining traction in May 2020 and the flashbacks...

Providing Youth Mental Health Services in Challenging Times – Foundry

Providing Youth Mental Health Services in Challenging Times – Foundry

The afternoon hours were always full of motion at the Foundry Abbotsford Centre – youth, their caregivers and staff all coming and going to access a variety of services.  But when COVID-19 began, the clinic grew strangely quiet as services moved online. Foundry began...

How Community Partnerships are Helping Local Youth Thrive

How Community Partnerships are Helping Local Youth Thrive

Youth facing issues such as mental health, sexual exploitation, lack of educational support, or aging out of foster care can find wraparound services at the Archway Youth Resource Centre (YRC).   In addition to their core services, YRC staff is able to offer extra...

Social Prescribing Program Links Vulnerable Seniors to Health Supports

Social Prescribing Program Links Vulnerable Seniors to Health Supports

The Archway Social Prescribing Program for Seniors helps seniors in Abbotsford delay frailty, practice self-care management, and reduce their loss of independence. The program offers a pathway from a doctor or nurse practitioner’s office to local, non-clinical...

How Archway Continues to Pivot to Meet Community Needs

How Archway Continues to Pivot to Meet Community Needs

Article by Jody Paterson, Executive Director of Board VoiceWalter Paetkau was a young Mennonite on a mission when he first arrived in Abbotsford in the 1960s with a passion for community development.   More than half a century later, those seeds that Paetkau nurtured...

A Year in a Pandemic: Reflecting on COVID-19’s Impact

A Year in a Pandemic: Reflecting on COVID-19’s Impact

It has been just over a year since COVID-19 began seriously impacting day-to-day life in Canada. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Archway has been adapting services to keep clients and staff safe and comply with changing safety recommendations. As we mark the...

ITS: Translating the Essentials During a Global Pandemic

ITS: Translating the Essentials During a Global Pandemic

Like many programs, Archway Interpretation and Translation Services (ITS) experienced considerable upheaval at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, their team was able to adjust quickly so they could continue ensuring community members would have access to...

Behind the Scenes at Archway

Behind the Scenes at Archway

As the COVID-19 situation grew more serious, Archway teams knew they had to act. Precautions needed to be taken to keep clients, volunteers and staff safe while our doors remained open for essential services to continue. While Archway program staff were busy assisting...

Abbotsford Youth Health Centre: Partners in Wellness

Abbotsford Youth Health Centre: Partners in Wellness

Youth workers in Abbotsford used to spend hours each week trying to help their clients access medical care. When they did find care, it was sometimes judgmental or ill-suited to the needs of vulnerable youth. In 2009 the City of Abbotsford approved a Child and Youth...

Legal Advocacy: No Adjournment of Services During COVID-19

Legal Advocacy: No Adjournment of Services During COVID-19

Over the last five decades Archway has provided a significant number of legal aid and legal advocacy services, and these community supports didn’t stop during COVID-19. When lockdown guidelines were implemented by the Province of BC, many legal services were put on...

Archway Food Bank: Open in Tough Times

Archway Food Bank: Open in Tough Times

How the Archway Food Bank keeps helping local people during a global pandemic. It should come as no surprise that this spring and summer have been especially busy for the Archway Food Bank, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. New Challenges and Increased Demand Not only has...

Rod Santiago Marks 10 Years as Archway Executive Director

Rod Santiago Marks 10 Years as Archway Executive Director

  Our Executive Director, Rod Santiago, recently marked 10 years at the helm of Archway Community Services. This past decade has been filled with tremendous growth and change for us as an organization, with much for him to reflect on. Some changes were public,...

Abby Dads: 10 Years of Supporting Fathers in Active Parenting

Abby Dads: 10 Years of Supporting Fathers in Active Parenting

Reg Unrau has been with Abby Dads for nearly 10 years; joining in the ‘early days’ of the program which supports local fathers as they endeavour towards healthier relationships with their families.  The program was initially a part of the New Beginnings Young Parent...

STRIDE: Stepping into a New Program During a Global Pandemic

STRIDE: Stepping into a New Program During a Global Pandemic

Skills Training Results in Directed Education / Employment (STRIDE) is one of Archway’s newest programs and it’s had an excellent and eventful first year thanks to the dedication of supervisor, Frank Amadasun, and his team. Starting a new initiative is never simple,...

LINC: A Celebration of Learning Online and Overcoming Obstacles

LINC: A Celebration of Learning Online and Overcoming Obstacles

Spring break; a chance to relax, have fun, spend time with friends and family. But this year, while many were beginning to enjoy spring break, the COVID-19 pandemic was evolving rapidly. This left employers, families and organizations scrambling. Our Archway Language...

Career Paths Helps Mansi Fulfill Graphic Design Dream

Career Paths Helps Mansi Fulfill Graphic Design Dream

Recently, Career Paths participant Mansi shared great news with Program Coordinator, Mary Finch - she got a great job at a local design company, Circle Graphics! Mansi shared:   "I came to Canada in January and felt lonely and isolated. I left a great career as a...

Discovery Staff ‘Parade’ for Participants

Discovery Staff ‘Parade’ for Participants

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, activities for our Discovery program have been temporarily suspended. Discovery staff were missing the program participants, so they organized a socially-distant 'parade' through their neighbourhoods to say hello. Click the photo below to...

Supporting Victims of Abuse

Supporting Victims of Abuse

In 1987, Debbie Davidson recognized a need in our community. She was working with the Red Cross Child Abuse Prevention program, visiting local schools to educate students and teachers about childhood sexual abuse – a tough yet very important topic.  Part of her...

Meet Runjan: Archway Recruitment & Engagement Specialist

Meet Runjan: Archway Recruitment & Engagement Specialist

Recently, Runjan in our Human Resources Department shared her experiences of being a newcomer looking to further her career in Canada, and working at Archway.  Curious to know more about employment at Archway? Join us and meet Runjan at our Recruitment Fair on Monday,...

Banking on a New Life in Canada: Gurdas’ Story

Banking on a New Life in Canada: Gurdas’ Story

Moving is challenging. Whether you’re packing up and transitioning across town or across the province, it’s exhausting, stressful and takes time to settle in. Those stresses are magnified when you move to a new country, but people like Gurdas do so well they make it...

Darlene’s Story: Love and Boundaries

Darlene’s Story: Love and Boundaries

From Recovery to Role Model Darlene has overcome her fair share of challenges. In 1989 she successfully completed a five-month addictions treatment program at Peardonville House; with her own life progressing positively, she was ready to help others.  While in...

Program Helps Skilled Immigrants Find Related Employment

Program Helps Skilled Immigrants Find Related Employment

The Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program at Archway helps newcomers find jobs related to their former careers. It’s designed to break the stereotype of doctors driving taxis and provides services for immigrants through one-to-one support, financial assistance,...

A Journey Through the History of Recycling

A Journey Through the History of Recycling

This year, Archway Community Services celebrates 50 years of ‘people helping people.’ Did you know our Recycling Program has been around almost as long? The Abbotsford Mission Recycling Program started 49 years ago, and what was initially a grassroots initiative has...

Overcoming Addiction and Homelessness

Overcoming Addiction and Homelessness

Kal’s Journey from Food Bank Client to Volunteer “I abused drugs for years,” Kal starts, getting right to some of the toughest parts of his story. Back in the 90s, what started as serious partying turned darker, to the abuse of marijuana, LSD and more. One night...

Keeping Busy and Being Helpful at Discovery: Betty Lou’s Story

Keeping Busy and Being Helpful at Discovery: Betty Lou’s Story

Betty Lou has been coming to Discovery for over 33 years. Her cheerful smile is contagious, especially as she shares what she likes most about attending; arts and crafts, knitting, outings with friends and physical activities like bowling and...

Fun and Friendship at Discovery: Donna’s Story

Fun and Friendship at Discovery: Donna’s Story

Donna has been attending the Discovery program for so long she’s lost track; staff estimate around 15 to 20 years. The activities and friendship that Discovery provides round out Donna’s week. She also enjoys time with family who live in Vancouver,...

Creative Pursuits at Discovery: Martin’s Story

Creative Pursuits at Discovery: Martin’s Story

"People get lots of help, do things together and help other people." Martin is a long-time participant in our Discovery program, attending for more than 10 years. Sharing his experiences with the program makes him feel “like Hollywood now” which suits him...

Share Your Thanks

Share Your Thanks

Have you ever faced challenges in your life that left you feeling alone and disconnected? Did you need people around you to rally? As a supporter of Archway and a champion of Abbotsford’s community, we invite you to share a place at the table with us. Meet Megan. At...

Walter’s Story: Starting and Growing Community Services

Walter’s Story: Starting and Growing Community Services

Building a Foundation in Social Justice In the 1960s, Walter Paetkau was a teacher in Edmonton, a job he trained for and assumed he’d have until retirement. But when Walter took time off to study for his Master of Divinity degree, his experiences changed...

30 Years of Serving the Community

30 Years of Serving the Community

“I started as a lot of people do here – for 10 hours per week,” shares Manpreet Grewal, the director of the Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Department at Abbotsford Community Services (ACS). At that time, 30 years ago, there was no Multicultural Department....

Leslie’s Story – Adjusting to a New Reality

Leslie’s Story – Adjusting to a New Reality

Until 2014, Leslie was a busy fisherman and painter in the northern BC community of Prince Rupert. He was often found on one of his boats, until an accident changed his life. Suddenly, his profession and even his home were no longer accessible to him, and his small...

Three Friends Join Forces To Make A Difference

Three Friends Join Forces To Make A Difference

​This week I had the pleasure of meeting three volunteers who are working as Friendship-Based Mentors for newcomers through the Community Connections program. Maureen, Janice and Connie, jointly mentor a family who is new to Canada and now living here in Abbotsford....

A Mother’s Struggle to Save Her Son from Gang Life

A Mother’s Struggle to Save Her Son from Gang Life

“That Could Have Been My Son” She was a newcomer to Canada who arrived as a young bride and moved in with her large, multi-generational family. But her “new life” has had its share of challenges for Surjit*. * Real name withheld Her husband struggled with substance...

Danielle Miller shares Brave Story

Danielle Miller shares Brave Story

We are incredibly grateful that Danielle Miller of The HABIT Project shared her story of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety with This Is Brave, and allowed us to share it with you. We encourage you to read her recount of living in fear and feeling brave again...

Claudia – From a Mexican Circus to Living in Canada

Claudia’s life has been full of challenges. At age 12 she was kicked out of her home in Mexico and lived on the streets for over a year before finding a welcoming family in a traveling circus. At the circus, Claudia did everything from selling popcorn and cleaning...

From Abuse and Addiction to New Career Opportunities

From Abuse and Addiction to New Career Opportunities

John* was nine-years-old when he first used hard drugs and started his decades-long struggle with addiction. ‘Shooting up’ was a way to deal with his horrific childhood, which included sexual abuse by his father. He ran away at age 11 and after trying to shoot his...

Pairing Her Loves of Teaching and Children

Pairing Her Loves of Teaching and Children

Before immigrating to Canada in 2012, Amandeep had worked as an elementary school teacher in India. Despite having a Master’s Degree in English, she found it difficult to find a suitable job here, since her teaching credentials were not transferrable. She ended up...

A Career in Caring

A Career in Caring

Elizabeth was always on the “lucky end” of lay-offs until that luck ran out in 2017. While she enjoyed her work at production companies the industry wasn’t always stable and didn’t provide additional training or opportunities for advancement.As a single mother in her...

There in Crisis

There in Crisis

Bridges The Bridges program seeks to bridge youth services to clients that have aged out of government care. "We had a 22 year old girl who was fleeing domestic abuse, couch surfing, unemployed and very distraught from the traumatic experience of being alone through...

Hope Restored

Hope Restored

Like many of us, Navor wants nothing more than to provide for his family. That’s why, in 2010, he started coming to Canada—first for five to six months at a time, then for eight. “I came because I wanted to help my family,” he tells us. “I have a daughter, sister, and...