In the lead up to PCHS’s inception, the organization’s founding members had identified two major challenges faced by South Asian immigrant populations. One: the lack of access to authentic and accurate information needed for employment, housing, health, and legal services. Two: a cultural blindness in the information that was available from social service agencies and municipalities, where the aspects of cultural competence and equity were missing.
PCHS was started as a way to fill the gap and began offering group activities to talk about stigmatized social issues like mental health, addictions, domestic violence, elder abuse, intra-family toxic communications, isolation of women from the economic and social realm, and various issues facing vulnerable youth. The discussions, reflections, and deliberations in these groups led to more authentic, accurate, and sound information for the immigrant community than word of mouth had done.
In an attempt to reach more participants, PCHS printed pamphlets and brochures in local languages, which contained evidence-based information from credible sources. However, seeing that most of the community members had a passive relationship with the written word because of their deeply embedded oral tradition, PCHS decided to turn to ethnic media.
To reach more people with its programming, representatives from PCHS started appearing on Punjabi TV programs. Eventually, looking for more creative control—and despite the fact that not many mainstream funders were willing to support the production of broadcast content—PCHS opted to produce its own content and have it disseminated through already existing ethnic media radio and TV channels.