In an effort to better serve the community, an Overbrook-based community resource centre has officially changed its name.
The Overbrook-Forbes Community Resource Centre is scrapping the area-specific name to one that better reflects its client base, which is drawn from all over the Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward. The new name for the centre, Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, was announced on Nov. 26.
Executive director Catherine Dubois said the resource centre’s former name was too specific to one community for the organization.
“For us, it has always been about reaching out to our clients and residents and our name was limiting that,” Dubois said. “The change is to help let all of Ward 13 know we are here to serve them. It is a step in the right direction.”
The catchment area for the centre is the same as the ward boundaries - serving neighbourhoods such as Overbrook, Forbes, Manor Park, Rockcliffe, Carson Grove, Lindenlea and New Edinburgh - making the name fit perfectly, Dubois said.
The name change has been something the centre’s board of directors has been discussing for the past two years, she said, and is a direct result of the issues the centre has had in reaching out to its residents.
“Despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with the neighbourhood-specific nature of our name,” she said.
For an organization that just celebrated its 30th anniversary in the summer, Dubois said the name change was not a decision the resource centre or its board of directors took lightly.
“We went out to speak to all the community associations in the area we serve; we wanted to let all the associations aware of what we do,” she said. “This change is based on doing what we do, but better.”
Micheline Delorme, president of the centre’s board, said she sees the name change as an opportunity to continue to do what the centre works hard to do well.
“Although our name has changed, the board of directors, staff, and volunteers will continue to reach out to all the residents of Ward 13 with the hope that we can be of help or offer opportunities to support others who may be facing hardship,” Delorme said.
The consultations with the association resulted in the decision to make a permanent change to how the resource centre brands itself.
The board of directors approved the name change at its annual general meeting this year, with the organization then making the change official with the provincial government.
To help mitigate any confusion, Dubois said the organization has changed its tag line on its official letter head. It now lists all the communities the resource centre serves.
Dubois said the organization aims to cater to what each individual neighbourhood in the community needs, whether it is volunteers or simply to offer up resources the centre has on hand.
“It is all about leveraging how we can help,” she said. “For instance, New Edinburgh holds movie nights, but not outside, we have a screen the community can use to hold outdoor movie events.”
Dubois admitted this is a small example, but that is what the centre is there for.
“It is about reaching out and hearing the calls for help,” Dubois said.
The centre is one of 14 community health resource centres in the city.
The centre’s multidisciplinary team offers counseling, early years programming for young children and their families, after school programs in five neighbourhood schools, community development and support for basic needs such as an emergency food program. They also partner with on-site services including Action Logement, Ottawa Public Health, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, a family health team, the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre.
A number of the programs operate with the ongoing support of community volunteers. All services are free of charge and are in both official languages.