Peers Helping Peers

Peers Helping Peers

A huge asset to Our Place is our team of dedicated volunteers. Within that group of 300+ volunteers you’ll find a group called Peers Helping Peers (PHP), a program supported by Island Health.

Twenty Our Place family members commit to volunteering 10 to 20 hours a month. They serve many roles, mentoring fellow volunteers in such jobs as handing out hygiene supplies, sorting and distributing clothing, and serving hot beverages at the Coffee Corner at our Drop-in Centre. New volunteer opportunities are encouraged at other Our Place locations such as the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community and supportive housing sites.

The individuals who participate in the PHP program take pride in their work and feel valued because their effort is rewarded. Folks receive a monthly stipend that not only helps with their budgeting, but they also experience how the act of contributing to their community builds up their sense of self-worth, dedication, belonging, and hope.

In many cases this also prepares these individuals for the work environment.

“I really enjoy the family members, that’s my number one draw,” says Dale, an active PHP member. “I’m here for them.” With 37 years sobriety under his belt, and a diagnosis of PTSD at the age of 50, Dale found comfort and stability at Our Place. “Staying loyal is a big one. I feel respected here… it’s like a big family. I’m very proud to be a part of it. I enjoy it and feel happy after each shift.”

“The minute Dale walks in the door he makes a true difference,” says Dawn Barr, Our Place Manager of Volunteer Services. “The weekly routine and the reliability that the Peers Helping Peers program shows folks helps them recognize their own value. We show them trust and respect, and that is key in helping them to see that change in their lives is possible.”