Prince William County Community Services is celebrating 50 years of service to the community, and it's the first in the state to hit that milestone.
Thomas Geib, the former director of community services, said Prince William County beat Arlington County by five days in forming the first community services board in the state.
Geib told a gathering of Community Services employees that they really knew how to "do it right" when it came to serving the community
"Everyone in this room is a champion. Not heroes necessarily, because heroes might do a brave thing maybe once, but champions are dedicated to doing really difficult work for individuals and causes beyond themselves. They do it for a very long time and they also do it always trying to do better than what they did the day before," Geib said. "It's not easy. It's your ability and your willingness to keep your clients as your primary focus that makes this agency a really a great championship team."
Deputy County Executive Michelle Casciato told the group that it's notable that Community Services continues to blaze a trail that others follow as they work to bring new pilot programs, new grant programs and new ways to get things done for the community. "It's amazing to think that Prince William County was pioneer in the service of mental health in the state of Virginia. I'm here to tell you that Prince William County continues to be a pioneer in providing community services throughout our entire county, through our county employees and our amazing Community Services Board."
Casciato went on to say that Community Services was adept at dealing with all kinds of issues, including those involving toddlers, teenagers, older adults, the seriously mentally ill and the physically and intellectually disabled. "All of these folks deserve the quality of life equal to everyone else in the county, and the people in this room work extraordinarily hard to make sure that that happens."
Community Services Director, Lisa Madron, talked about the work of the agency. "I really believe that we are here to help educate, prevent and treat. We provide services to individuals who couldn't get services any other place. We are a learning organization that is committed to excellence and we continue to grow and to learn and to develop our interventions… I think we can help and we can inspire; and it is amazing when some of the physical needs, safety needs, are taken care of for an individual. The power they have within them, the resilience they have and the talents they have are unbelievable."
She also said the staff of Community Services, past and present, has met the community's needs for all of its 50 years in Prince William County. "For five decades, Community Services has created programs that meet the growing needs of our thriving community. It is so great to be able to celebrate this very special milestone."
More information about Community Services and the programs they offer is available at pwcgov.org/cs.