Thrive Community Support Circle began in 1973 as Pregnancy Distress Services. It was founded by Louise and Dr. Paul Adams as a crisis phone line for pregnant women. Several years later, the Adams broadened their services to include pre-and post-natal support for young mothers. 

In 2017, our agency was rebranded as Thrive Community Support Circle. We’ve grown to offer many more resources from free mental health programs to CFS liaison support to essential needs for families and individuals. 

It is gratifying and heartwarming to be able to see the effects of our work. Many people who come to us for help are so profoundly affected by our services and programs they will often come back to Thrive in a volunteer capacity. We see a new light shining in their eyes, a determination to help others as we have helped them. Sometimes they will tell us that Thrive literally saved their life. This is how we know what we do is working. We empower and support individuals and families to create positive change in themselves.  

Today we serve more than 10,000 families each year, still providing services and group programs along with one-on-one counselling, as well as a Thrift Shop. We are incorporated as a non-profit organization, and supported through private donations, The United Way, Manitoba Early Learning and Childcare, The Department of Child and Family Support, and other groups. 

We like to think the spirit underlying our evolution remains a straight line to the compassion and optimism first exhibited by our founders Louise and Dr. Paul Adams, when they first opened their doors to those in need, over half a century ago.

Adams Family

Our Guiding Principles

At Thrive Community Support Circle we believe:

  • All people regardless of race, religion, status, means, ability, or sexual orientation are empowered to make their own choices about their lives. 
  • All people have equal rights and deserve to be treated equally in all areas of community and economic life. 
  • All people are unique and have a right to services that are flexible, non-judgmental, confidential, and  respectful of their culture and religious beliefs. 
  • All people have the right to be heard and respected as the author of their own lives, including the right to a new beginning in their journey. 
  • Staff, participants, volunteers, and community members have the right to a healthy and safe environment. 
  • Communities, organizations, and society all play an important role in supporting individuals in the efforts to be empowered and make their own choices. 
  • Systemic and societal conditions and barriers contribute to the poverty, inequity, abuse, isolation, and dependency of vulnerable persons. 
  • All programs and services must respond to the changing needs of participants and of the community. 
  • In actively participating in our community by building relationships, and working collaboratively with community organizations and community members. 
  • Healthy individuals lead to healthy families and stronger communities. 

Our Mission

Thrive Community Support Circle is a diverse agency dedicated to offering services that are inclusive to all persons, in all stages, to cultivate life, provide opportunities for empowerment, and to grow the community we serve.

Our Vision

Thrive believes in the potential of people and communities to grow and create change in a positive way. Through our community services including the programming, therapeutic counselling, drop in, thrift shop and childcare, we provide opportunities and support to individuals to create this change in themselves and the community as defined in their personal journey. By working in cooperation with partnerships of other community agencies; recruiting qualified, caring and like-minded staff, volunteers and donors, and by respecting each person’s individuality, we provide community members with professional and supportive service within the context of our resources.

Our Community Impact

Stats for 2022 to 2023

Total Visitors
New Participants
Repeat Visitors
Food Security Assistance
Received Counselling
New Intakes
Emergency Clothing
Baby Kits
Layette Program
Crisis Supports
Program Participants
Financial Empowerment Services
Resource Referrals
Rhonda Elias-Penner

Rhonda Elias-Penner,
Executive Director

Message From Our

Executive Director

While our Thrive team has continued to navigate the challenges and impact of the pandemic, I am humbled and proud to be part of a team that has continued to work through difficult conditions with grace and grit, putting the needs of the community ahead of their personal fears and concerns.

In 2021-22 pandemic pressures and inflationary pressures drove the need for Thrive’s programs and services to new heights. Thanks to our generous funders, and extremely committed team, we were able to rise to the needs of our community, ensuring that everyone who came to our doors was supported. This year saw another significant jump in new faces seeking help, and Thrive responded with new programs and expanded services made possible through new grants, collaborations, and partnerships. 

With the changing landscape of social services Thrive continues to evaluate how we can better streamline services, ensuring that we are responding to the needs of community and participants, reducing barriers to access programs and services. 

We continue to work within a collaborative model, partnering with other agencies to reduce duplication of services and fill gaps in priority areas. As we move into a post-pandemic world we are refocusing our efforts to consolidate and expand our building on Spence to create one physical space to house all of our programs and services. We look forward to sharing more about our plans in the coming months. In the meantime, I extend my sincerest gratitude to our volunteers, staff, supporters, funders and new friends who are committed to making us grow and THRIVE as we celebrate 50 years serving the community!

Board of Directors

Founding President

Louise Adams (The Late)

Executive Director

Rhonda Elias – Penner

Board of Directors

Marni Waggoner – Board Chairperson

Sarah Mann – Secretary

Lena Pitsanuk – Treasurer


Rick Sutcliffe

Kathryn Gompf

Lana Stevenson

Mackenzie Swope

Alexis Bailey

Board Sub-Committees


Rick Sutcliffe – Chair

Lena Pitsanuk

Rhonda Elias – Penner

Capital Campaign Cabinet 

Kathryn Gompf – Chair

Darla Hooker

Jennifer Theissen

Liz Prall

Rebecca Mollard

Carrie Kulbinsky

Taylor Gagne


Mackenzie Swope – Chair 

Rhonda Elias- Penner 

Marni Waggoner

Taylor Clackson

Governance and Human Resources

Lana Stevenson – Chair

Sarah Mann

Marni Waggoner

Members on leave

Morgan Vespa

Dakotah Nadeau

Our Stories

We are grateful to our community members who have offered to share
their stories and how Thrive has played a role in their lives.

Amy’s Story

In the summer of 2012, I returned to Winnipeg from the reserve. I was 4 months pregnant and not employed. I began to job search. Well, I didn’t have luck finding a job. As soon as I told them I was pregnant I was not considered for the position I applied for. I didn’t experience…

Teddy’s Story

Hi. My name is Adoar. People called me Teddy. This place has really helped me. Helped me quit drinking. The services are good, I didn’t realize til about 2 and a half years later I didn’t drink. I stayed sober. My friend would ask me to go drink and I would say I can’t, because…