Held at various Trust buildings throughout the week, Peer 4 Peer is a support group that gives residents space to talk about issues that affect them. The Trust’s Peer Advocates facilitate the groups to create an environment that is open and compassionate. “We make sure the conversation keeps going,” said Peer Advocate Anthony Haynes. “We are not there to do all the talking, but to make sure everyone is respectful and can share their thoughts.”
Trained in psycho-social education techniques, Peer Advocates are current Trust residents that have experienced homelessness and are successfully housed. The Trust launched the Peer Advocate program to offer additional support to new residents during the critical first 90 days of transitioning from homelessness into housing. Having gone through the transition themselves, Peer Advocates offer mentorship and guidance to new residents based on firsthand experience. They help new residents connect to the wider community by inviting them to participate in weekly groups like Peer 4 Peer.
A supportive community is critical for leading healthy and full life, and Peer 4 Peer is a part of creating that support network. “Group members feel more comfortable in a space with peers,” said Stacey Hartnett, the Trust’s Health and Wellness Coordinator. “They can talk openly about struggles with substance use or mental illness, and gain strength from other residents who may have experienced similar challenges.”