Sara Kolomejac
Youth Worker
Directions Youth Services

Our Board Chair

Tony Kirschner

How do we learn to see life’s challenging moments in perspective? For many, it’s with the help of a support network—one that includes a community of positive and empathetic people, financial, housing, and food security, and access to health care and mental health resources. This support
network acts as a physical and emotional backstop when we face adversity in our lives.

But what happens if you don’t have the tools to build that network? At Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV), we help clients out of crisis and into resilience. The continuum of care is at the forefront of our mission and vision—from a client’s acute moment of need to empowering individuals and families to make more informed choices in life.

In the non-profit and social services sector, we are emerging from a challenging year during which the pandemic heightened the inequities in our communities. Yet through the difficulties, our staff, board, volunteers,
and clients have all built their resilience.

We welcomed Maria Howard as our new CEO, and look forward to her leadership in this new era as FSGV celebrates 92 years of service and approaches its centennial. On behalf of the board, we would also like to thank Karin Kirkpatrick for her tenure as CEO from January, 2017 to July, 2020.

With the support of our donors and governments, including COVID-19 relief funding, FSGV managed a modest surplus. This was the third and final year of a strategic plan, and while the pandemic created a difficult environment in which to operate, FSGV stayed true to its vision and goals.

The organization also continued to learn and listen as we expand our actions in diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion. Our programs and services were optimized to reach people where they’re at—with the health and safety of our clients, staff, and volunteers always top of mind. Positive change is on the horizon.

Our CEO 

Maria Howard

Like many qualities, resilience takes effort to develop and maintain. As difficult situations arise, the ability to reflect and regulate our emotional response, accept change, and find the means to forgive and heal all contribute to the development of our resilience. It does not appear as the result of a one-time experience, but builds over numerous experiences of trauma, tragedy, or threat—experiences all people will face at some point in their lives.

At Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV), our vision is to build brighter tomorrows in which all people are resilient, confident, and filled with hope. I stepped into the role of CEO in October, 2020. Within my first months, it was clear that the staff take this call to action very seriously.

As a former rehabilitation counsellor, I have witnessed first-hand the dedication and compassion our front-line staff and all who support them face on a daily basis. Thank you for your commitment, this year more than ever.

I would also like to thank outgoing CEO Karin Kirkpatrick, who so diligently ensured this agency’s success during her tenure, January 2017 through to July 2020. Now, as we look toward the future of the organization, I am
thrilled to work with the staff, board, and volunteers at FSGV to chart the next chapter of impact on the lives of thousands of British Columbians.

It is our responsibility as an agency to ensure the organization is resilient, our people are resilient, and that we continue to empower our clients to build their own resiliency. After all, resilience is about more than surviving the worst day; it’s about thriving every day so we can live meaningful and fulfilling lives.



Become a monthly donor and support your neighbours in need.