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Dates of existence
The Portuguese Interagency Network (PIN) was founded in 1978. PIN was a community-based, non-profit organization which connected agencies and individuals who were concerned with the provision of Portuguese-speaking Canadians in Ontario. Member agencies in the early years included: The Doctors Hospital Social Work Department, The Working Women Community Centre, Parkdale Community Legal Services, St Christopher House, St Stephen’s House, C.R. Sanderson Public Library, and the COSTI-Education Centre. PIN’s membership eventually grew to include over 200 member agencies in addition to many individual members.
PIN’s objectives included: ensuring the provision of services through community development and active cooperation of individuals and agencies; providing on-going professional development and support to its membership; acting as a consulting and resource body for organizations and individuals; providing referrals aimed at linking individuals with services in the community; developing and promote research and planning projects for educational purposes on community needs; encouraging the exchange of information among member agencies and individuals; provide community educational programs; and granting scholarships to support and encourage youth to attend post-secondary institutions.
PIN was managed by an elected twelve-member Board of Directors and an Executive Director. The programs of the P.I.N. were carried out by working committees which focused on the following areas: Adult Education, Child Education, Family and Community Services, Health, Special Needs, and Seniors. Project-based or ad-hoc committees, included: “Ready or Not,” “Youth Committee,” “Lusophone,” and “Employment Equity.” PIN produced several studies and reports on Toronto’s Portuguese-Canadian community. It also conducted a number of public education campaigns in the areas of health, adult education, literacy, sexual assault, and skills training.
PIN helped develop organizations such as Kensington Clinic, Portuguese Mental Health Clinic, Downtown Employment Services, Portuguese Family Crisis Centre, Access Alliance Multicultural Health Centre, and Bradford Immigrant Community Services. PIN played a role in the organization of several conferences for the Portuguese-Canadian community across Canada. In 1993, a conference held in Ottawa, titled “From Coast to Coast: A Community in Transition,” brought together Portuguese-Canadians nation-wide to discuss social, economic, and political issues affecting the community. During the conference, the Portuguese-Canadian National Congress was founded.
Following spending cuts by the Ontario Provincial government in the mid-1990s, PIN discontinued its work in 2009.