44 Years Young
Founded in 1973 as a crisis line for pregnant women, Thrive, Community Support Circle (Formerly known as Pregnancy Distress Service & Pregnancy and Family Support Services Inc. ) is committed to offering services that support women, pregnant women, men and children at all stages, cultivate family life, empower individuals and grow community.
Over the years, the agency has established a significant presence in the inner city. We serve many families with diverse needs from our three sites, all located near the intersection of Spence St. and Sargent Ave. in the West End of Winnipeg. We operate the Therapy Department, the Resource Centre, and the Childcare Centre. We also operate the Thrift Shop, which offers important support to the community by providing volunteer work experience to people of diverse abilities and skills while selling clothing and household goods at very low prices.
Incorporated as a non-profit organization, Thrive is supported through private donations, The United Way, Manitoba Child Daycare, The Dept. of Child and Family Support, and through other community groups, corporations, and foundations. The Mennonite Central Committee has provided volunteer staff since 1977.
Rhonda Elias-Penner, Executive Director
Hello, I came to PFSS in Spring of 2010 as an Applied Counselling student, working in Resource Centre and after graduating with Honors, I was hired as the Community Support worker for the summer program. In September I was hired as the FCC Coordinator, and with my background in child care and management diplomas, I was responsible for the child care centre and the ‘drop in’. In 2015 I was asked to step in as Acting Executive Director, and was extremely humbled and proud to now be the Executive Director of Pregnancy and Family Support Services.
I have always been involved in volunteering and community in my personal life, most notably, providing information and support to families with diagnosis of Autism and other cognitive and behavioral challenges through Manitoba Families for Effective Autism Treatment and St. Amant. I have 2 teen age boys, one of whom has a diagnosis of Autism, so it is a subject close to my heart. I have been blessed with many supportive people, who shape the person I have become and strengthen my desire to help others, especially my wonderful husband.
I have seen such growth and changes over the years, and see constant examples of how the work that we do is an integral part of health and healing. I am so excited to continue this path with this amazing organization, creating and stronger, healthier, and more sustainable community.