Face 2 Face with Stigma

100% Peer Led and Delivered

Face 2 Face with Stigma

Face 2 Face with Stigma is an anti-stigma workshop that is inspired, led, developed, and delivered entirely by people with lived experience of substance use, mental health disorders and homelessness. Together, we use our powerful stories to inspire empathy and compassion, educate and reduce fear in the community.


Number of Workshops


Number of Participants

Conferences Presented At

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) 2021 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

2021 BC Housing Central Conference

Vancouver Island Region Restorative Justice Association

Audience (to date)

Victoria Police Department

Victoria Police Board

City of Victoria

Nursing Students

University of Victoria

Camosun College

Victoria General Hospital

Glengarry Hospital

VicPD Police Victim Services

VicPD Police Recruits & Officers

VicPD Police Recruits

VicPD Police Board and Mayor

Community Support Workers

ByLaw Officers


Mental Health & Addiction Students

Jessica Stepushyn

Office: 778-678-6825 (For text/call)

Email: f2fstigma@victoriahomelessness.ca

How long are the workshops?

We are currently booking for two and a half hours. Longer workshops available by request.

Is there a limit on the attendees? (that may influence what type of staff are in attendance).

Smaller sized classes generally have better engagement. Anything above 30, we recommend longer workshops, or multiple workshops.

Do you have a work space or would I book a space here at our office?

The alliance does not have the facilities to host.

How much is the workshop in total?

Those looking to book are encouraged the full cost of a workshop, which is available on request. However, we only currently charge $300 for two hours of workshop.

Meet our Team

Today, Jessica looks to guide the team of Face 2 Face storytellers, after she stepped into the role of team coordinator. As a retired nurse, practicing artist, and group facilitator, she looks to empower those around her to grow. Jessica is a person with lived experience of homelessness and mental illness

Leonard, who also goes by his Indian name Quart’whey’tun, enjoys acting as a sounding board, and telling his side of the story of lived and living experience. He has lived experiences with homelessness, stigma, discrimination. He is residential school survivor from the 60’s scoop, as a direct result of a tragic event of his mother’s death. He has spent time in prison, and in institutions. As a direct result of public forum speeches, he has been able to get a better understanding, support, comfort and positive reactions.   

Tracy is a storyteller with Face 2 Face with Stigma.

This program allows her to use her life experiences of drug use, mental health, and homelessness in a way to touch people in an attempt to end the “us and them” mentality in our community.

She has been fortunate to aid those who live with stigma and hopes to continue for as long as she can.

Today, Herb is a happygolucky father in recovery who is willing to share multiple sides of his story with the public in hopes that people can understand what a lifetime of stigma can do to a person. He is a man with lived and living experience of many topics such as trauma, drug addiction, penitentiary incarceration, violence, and abuse. He is a full time, single father who has experienced the negative bias that goes with all that. Most of all, he wants to communicate that no matter how far down the rabbit hole someone can go, it is still possible to change and rewrite their lives to one of positive purpose and meaning.  

Bailey is 25 years old who experienced harsh realities as a young child that then went on to be stigmatized and to stigmatize others. Today, she uses these experiences to have a conversation with others about growing past inherent stigma and learning to love one’s self and each other. 

She also works as a Peer Supporter and is the proud Mom of 3 chihuahua’s. 

Gino is a 2 Spirit person with lived experience working in the helping profession since the early 1990’s. Gino has been involved in peer support, and active in the community as an indigenous activist and helper.  

Jahanva’s journey begins at an early age, lifelong history of serious adverse reactions to medications. Living with life altering injuries, wheelchair bound, having lived experience with foster care, addictions, poverty, homelessness living physically disabled and neurodivergent the Stigma this brings. His newest passion is sharing his story after years of healing, and living alone very isolated.

“What I hope to communicate, isn’t so much that mental illness sucks; It’s that it sucks complexly. There are elements and facets to how much it sucks. There are intricate webs and logistical chains of Bullshit, that none of us can entirely realistically control. What we can control, is our attitude towards it. Stigma is simple. Life is complex.”

“People see the results of a difficult and troubled life, not the pain and trauma of it.

As long as there is an Us and Them mentality there will continue to be stigma.”

“I got sick and tired of being sick and tired so finally, after my 3rd treatment center and with the help of my father and the AA program, I found recovery, it was here that I found others that understood me.”

“They can’t call me a run-away anymore.”

Language is always changing, and what makes people feel comfortable today might be hurtful a year from now.

44,000 Canadians died in WWII! 44,000 in 6 years.  Did you know that Canada has lost 30,000 people in the opioid crisis in roughly the same time frame? That’s roughly 2/3’s of the number of deaths. Right here, on the homefront.”

In Memorium