In 1987, Mr. Charan Gill and seven other community workers in the Lower Mainland pitched in $10 each to create a new organization that promoted harmony and intercultural understanding to build a healthy and just society for all.
35 years later, Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) continues to help new immigrants, seniors, farm workers, women and youth from its head office in Surrey, and also satellite services in Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, Abbotsford and other Lower Mainland locations.
In the very early days PICS focused on farm workers’ rights, especially among Indo-Canadians. But their services quickly expanded to include many other groups — through 35 years they’ve continued to identify gaps and devised programs to serve those in need.
“PICS is proud of the support we’ve provided to many Canadians over the last 35 years, and the strong relationships we’ve established with other community service providers, businesses, governments, media and other stakeholders,” says Satbir Singh Cheema, CEO of PICS.
Progressive Intercultural Community Services
- Employment Programs: Foreign credential recognition; trades training (agriculture, transportation, construction, public works and more); skills training for youth, survivors of domestic violence, anti-gang families and more. Explore services at pics.bc.ca/programs/employment.
- Language, Settlement and Social Programs: Assisting newcomers and temporary migrant workers access services, receive training and get oriented in British Columbia, including free English classes, anti-racism training, children’s summer camps and more. Explore services at pics.bc.ca/programs/settlement-services.
- Children and Youth: PICS operates its own childcare center and early years programs, and many resources and volunteer opportunities for youth. Learn more at pics.bc.ca/programs/children-youth.
- Legal Services: Free legal advocacy and legal advice through UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program, and legal services which address the unique needs of seasonal workers. Learn more at pics.bc.ca/programs/legal.
- Community Programs: Health awareness for HIV and Hepatitis C, seniors programs including the Humjoli Active Aging program, community relationship building and more. Explore programs at pics.bc.ca/programs/community-programs.
- Housing Services: PICS built, owns and operates a 77 unit Independent Living Facility and a 49 unit Assisted Living Facility, which are now occupied by seniors of all ethnic and South Asian cultural backgrounds. Guru Nanak Diversity Village Senior Housing will offer culturally sensitive long-term care in Surrey. Harmony House offers safe, secure, healing housing to women and their children escaping domestic violence. Learn more at pics.bc.ca/programs/housing.
35th Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser
Join PICS on Friday, Sept. 16 for a night of networking and live entertainment as they celebrate the history and milestones of the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society. Former BC Premier Glen Clark is the chief guest and keynote speaker, and will also enjoy giveaways, door prizes and an exciting live auction.
Reserve your tickets today by contacting Gagandeep Bal at 778-251-8359 or [email protected].
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