Peer Housing Support Program

The Peer Housing Support Program is a Lived Experience community-driven initiative, dedicated to providing support with, and a sense of community and belonging for, people transitioning from homelessness to safe and stable housing; whether that be supportive or independent.

The Peer Housing Support program is a partnership between peers, peer supporters, the Coalition, and participating housing organizations. The effectiveness of peer support in recovery-informed practice is evidence-based as an integral support within health and social services. The Peer Housing Support program addresses the need for greater strengths-based housing support. It is modeled after peer-led initiatives in Mental Health and Addictions services, and Veterans support. The program has been adapted to the specific needs of people who are currently experiencing, or are transitioning through their recovery journey with experiences with homelessness.

To access the Program Toolkit click here: Peer Housing Support Program Toolkit

To access the Program Infosheet click here: Peer Housing Support Program Infosheet

  1. Assistance in daily management
  2. Social and emotional support
  3. Links to professional support and community resources
  4. Ongoing support, extended over time

As People with Lived Experiences of homelessness, Peer Support Workers assist peers in navigating available resources, and providing a sense of guidance, community and belonging throughout their personal journeys. There are currently 4 Peer Support workers, 3 of whom identify as Indigenous. The Coalition and the participating housing organization connect and facilitate an introductory relationship between the Peer Support Worker and the peer.

Alongside Peer Support Workers, the Peer Housing Support working group regularly consults with Peer Support Workers and the Peer Housing Support Coordinator for the continued development and growth of the Peer Housing Support Program. All members of the working group are Persons with Lived Experiences of homelessness and as a group they seek to strengthen and demonstrate the value of the Lived Experience voice of knowledge.

Partnering Agencies are typically organizations that work with individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Partnering Agencies are integral in identifying suitable peers for the Peer Housing Support Program. This process is faciliated by the Coalition’s Peer Housing Support Coordinator.

“Social isolation remains one of the most detrimental aspects of living in the private market for individuals moving from homelessness. Its disruption is critical to the success of most clients.  And it is this isolation that the Peer housing support project can most effectively impact. In a short period of time it has become very clear how essential the work of the Peer Supporters has been to the Streets to Homes Program and its clients. The contribution has been nothing short of amazing in regard to the connection and subsequent wellness that this project has brought to individual clients who would have continued to otherwise struggle. I can only hope that this project becomes a robust program and that the services of this amazing team can be offered to many more clients in need.” 

 Chris Forester, Manager of Outreach Services, Pacifica Housing

The Peer Housing Support Program Toolkit is a resource tool developed by the Coalition to support communities and organizations in the creation of their own peer housing support program. The toolkit includes training resources, and information about the program’s framework. As of August 7, 2019, the toolkit has been fully updated.

To access the Program Toolkit click here: Peer Housing Support Program Toolkit

To access the Program Infosheet click here: Peer Housing Support Program Infosheet

To receive a copy of the Peer Housing Support Toolkit, contact the Inclusion & Collaboration Manager at  jtheobald@victoriahomelessness.ca or the Peer Housing Support Coordinator at lcrossman@victoriahomelessness.ca for more information.

In Crisis?:

If you require urgent emotional support, including having thoughts of suicide and other mental health issues, please call Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888.

Youth (under 25 years of age) may access youthspace.ca for online emotional support.

For other resources, including shelter availability, visit bc211.ca