A century ago, community leaders in the Five Towns recognized a need to help the poor. To combat the problem, the Relief Association of Lawrence was launched.
Out of that, the agency known today as the Peninsula Counseling Center was born. Today, it provides a wide range of mental health services, counseling for drug and alcohol addiction, family support groups and much more.
This year, PCC is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and many changes have taken place during that time. The organization’s name has changed several times. For years it was known as the Family Welfare Association of Lawrence, then Family Service Association of the Five Towns.
Following a merger with the Peninsula Child Guidance Center in 1973, its current name came to be. It’s a name synonymous with southwest Nassau County, as PCC has made its impact on several communities including the Five Towns, Valley Stream, Lynbrook and beyond.
Move to Valley Stream
At 94 years old, officials at PCC decided it was time for a new home. With offices spread out in Woodmere, Lawrence, Lynbrook and Valley Stream, there was a desire to consolidate services in a central office.
In 2007, PCC purchased a building on West Hawthorne Street in Valley Stream and began renovations. A year later, the staff moved into the state-of-the-art, 25,000-square-foot headquarters, which features two floors of offices above one level parking, several conference rooms and a 130-seat auditorium. For the first time, the agency’s clinical staff was united under one roof.
The building was named the Fay J. Lindner Pavilion. PCC had received a sizeable grant from the Fay J. Lindner Foundation, which went toward the purchase of the building. Then-director Herb Ruben said the location was ideal for patients because it is less than two blocks from the Valley Stream train station and in a neighborhood served by several bus routes.
Lois Goldsmith, PCC’s associate director, said that the new building gave the agency a chance to grow. “We didn’t really have the facilities to expand anymore,” she said.