The Halifax Community Chaplaincy Society (HCCS) began as the cooperation of a few people brought together to support the work of volunteer David Olding in 1999. David had a profound sense of vocational calling to work with ex-prisoners in their effort to reintegrate back into community. The spiritual focus of this man-with-a-mission, and those first few people who supported him, grew into what is today the Halifax Community Chaplaincy Society.
By the time of David’s retirement from this volunteer service, HCCS had been established as a not-for-profit charitable organization and was in the financial position to hire a new community chaplain to carry on with the effort forged by David. Sister Pat Wilson, of Sisters of Charity, was hired with the double-hat of community chaplain and coordinator for Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) Halifax. When the five-year CoSA Demonstration Project was announced we were able to hire Shirley Dixon to lead CoSA with her assistant, Tim Millar. This team of three handled an annual ongoing caseload of over 200 offenders, and their families, who were reintegrating back into community.
In 2015 the mission of HCCS suffered a terrible blow. The federal government failed to commit funds to support our ongoing operations with CoSA, despite its proven effectiveness.The result of these financial decisions was not only the cessation of all programs run by HCCS that supported over 200 clients, but also the termination of employment of our three employees.
In late 2015 a small portion of federal funding resumed under the Faith-Based Community Reintegration Project (FCRP) which allowed for the hiring of our current staff chaplain in a half-time position. A fundraising campaign is underway as we seek to resume the important work of our past.
Effective April 1st, 2017 the CoSA portion of our operations has been federally funded. We are in the process of re-establishing our CoSA capacity in Nova Scotia. For more information on CoSA Canada please click here: CoSA Canada