Our origins can be traced back to April of 1994 when the Kingsville Police Service Board held a meeting attended by over 30 representatives of various community sectors to address concerns over youth violence in Kingsville. That meeting resulted in the establishment of the Community Cares Action Committee whose vision was submitted to the Town of Kingsville council and led to the 1995 opening of the first teen centre on Main Street in Kingsville.
In 1996 the South Shore Youth Centre was incorporated as a non-profit organization and received member status as a United Way/Centraide supported agency in 1997. In 1999, with the political amalgamation of Kingsville, Gosfield South and North Townships, we joined forces with the Cottam Youth Centre necessitating a name change to the Kingsville Youth Association. The agency continued to expand and grow as the Harrow community asked KYA to assume management of its services and programs in 2001.
In 2001 and 2002 the extent of our involvement grew into other communities such as Amherstburg and Leamington with the establishment of the THRIVE Housing Support Program. This growth brought about the need for another name change one that would more accurately reflect who we are and what we do. As a result we became the Youth and Family Resource Network of Essex County.
The agency has grown leaps and bounds from where it began back in 1994 in an attempt to meet the needs of the people of Essex County with services that focus on advocacy, education, skills development and recreation. Over the years programs such as THRIVE, our After School Programs and KEYS have met those needs for a great number of people throughout the County.
In 2008, with the assistance of the COAHP program, the organization purchased a 13 unit apartment building on Talbot Street in Leamington. This building offers transitional and affordable housing to qualified Essex County residents and is in great demand.
With our continued success and growth once again in early 2013 staff and board members gathered for strategic planning. The planning brought together solid mission and vision statements and again the sense that a name change was necessary. In November of 2013, the organization proudly launched its new name, Access County Community Support Services (ACCESS).
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