Goldsmith explained that the building, which was constructed in 1989, was renovated when PCC took over. The clinical needs of patients was in mind when designing the facility. For the first time, the agency was able to have a children’s waiting room, as well as meeting space for the various support groups.
PCC was welcomed with open arms to Valley Stream. “Peninsula Counseling Center has become part of the fabric of the Valley Stream community,” said Mayor Ed Fare. “They care about their neighborhood. I congratulate them on their anniversary and wish them many more years of success.”
PCC is also an active member of the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has participated in the mall walk, an event at the Green Acres Mall to raise money for the agency’s children’s support services, and several chamber members have been speakers at PCC programs.
“VSCC congratulates PCC on an amazing anniversary of 100 years, helping the people of our communities,” said Chamber President Debbi Gyulay. “We look forward to continuing our relationship for 100 more.”
New leadership, new partnership
More than half of PCC’s history can be put into one category: the Herb Ruben era. Ruben led the organization for 52 years, retiring in 2010.
In August 1958, when Ruben came to the agency, it had a miniscule staff and an annual budget of about $40,000. By the time he retired, the organization merged, changed names, opened new offices, bought a building and added about 100 staff members. The annual budget grew to about $8 million.
“When he took over it was a fraction of what it is now,” said Jay Greenbaum, president of PCC’s Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012. “It was really his organization.”
In the 1960s, the first full decade of Ruben’s leadership, the agency grew from six to 16 staff members and opened an office in Inwood. The number of families seen nearly doubled, from 306 to 605, and the number of individual patients rose from 475 to 888.