Wood's Homes Blog

Eastside Family Centre celebrates 25 years

November 02, 2015
Janet Stewart, Program Manager, Wood’s Homes
Eastside Family Centre celebrates 25 years

Wood’s Homes’ Eastside Family Centre opened its doors on November 1, 1990. 

No-charge, walk-in counselling services begin!

  • Back in 1990, Wood’s Homes’ clinical leaders Philip Perry (then CEO) and Dr. Arnie Slive were confident that immediately accessible, no-charge, walk-in counselling services would better meet the needs of people coping with mental health concerns.
  • At the time, the east side of Calgary suffered a shortage of these supportive services.
  • With the full encouragement and support from the Wood’s Homes Board of Directors, Philip and Arnie soon invited community leaders in the areas of education, health, policing, business and social services to become involved in starting up a counselling centre.
  • Relationships were formed between Eastside and other social service agencies, schools, physicians and private practitioners who soon started referring their clients.
  • Partnerships (that have lasted 25 years) were also established with Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter’s Men’s Counselling program, Calgary Legal Guidance and Carya joining Eastside on site.

Picture3 A counselling room at the Eastside Family Centre.

Since 1990, Eastside has become a popular service that is now replicated across the country. We are proud to say:

  • A quarter-century of consultation with psychiatrists and other specialists living and working in the Calgary community have provided depth and breadth to these services.
  • Hundreds of community volunteer therapists, therapy students and Wood’s Homes clinicians have all learned together how to provide single session walk-in services that meet the immediate and most pressing needs of their clients.


  • 87% of clients report feeling completely heard, respected and listened to by a therapist at Eastside
  • 2,350 sessions are conducted every year
  • Volunteers give 2,400 community hours every year

Thank you to each and every person who contributed to the opening of Eastside Family Centre and thank you to all those who continue to help us keep the doors open!

WATCH: Eastside Family Centre - 25 Years of Service