Overcoming Challenges Together With Peer Recovery.

Strength In Peers is a peer-run, nonprofit organization. More than half of our Board of Directors and all of our staff are in active recovery from substance use, mental health, and/or trauma-related challenges. Grounded in our lived experiences, we envision a world where we have an abundance of recovery options and are supported in our right to decide our recovery pathway. Toward our vision, our mission is to offer hope, support, and advocacy for those seeking recovery so they can build resilience and thrive in their lives. Strength In Peers serves the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham, Page, and Shenandoah Counties of Virginia.

Our History.

Strength In Peers works to close gaps in community services by identifying needs. We walk alongside the participants we serve to provide hope, support, and advocacy.

2014 – Nicky Fadley brings the Future Generations’ Rural America Program to the Shenandoah Valley and brings together service providers to conduct a community assessment of behavioral health needs and services. As a result of the collaboration, the partners form the Shenandoah Mental Health Network to close gaps in services for people with behavioral health challenges in northwestern Virginia, with a focus on rural communities.

2015 – With support from the Network, the Rural America Program develops the Trauma Awareness and Resilience Project to educate rural communities about trauma and launch peer support services in Shenandoah and Page Counties. The team also develops the Reentry Recovery Program to provide outreach, peer support, and treatment to individuals returning from incarceration to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. These programs establish the organization’s target service area of Harrisonburg City and the counties of Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Page. Recognizing a need, Strength In Peers is founded and incorporated on December 17 to carry on a long-term mission.

2016 – The Strength In Peers team continues to operate programs under the Future Generations umbrella. It starts to develop the systems, policies, and capacities it will need to become independent and autonomous.

2017 – The program team launches the Healthy and Resilient Children Program and develops youth mentoring and outreach to public schools to develop trauma-informed practices. Strength In Peers also receives its first contract independent from Future Generations to operate the Harrisonburg Community Resource Center. On December 31, Strength In Peers formally separates from Future Generations and transfers all staff, offices, and supplies to the new organization.

2018 – Strength In Peers successfully transfers its three federal grants from Future Generations to continue its trauma, reentry, and youth programs. We also have received new grants for our Side by Side Recovery Program which builds on the Trauma Program, and for our Back on Track Recovery Program which expands our Reentry Program allowing us to serve the larger population of individuals who are homeless and unstably housed. This year we also launched new initiatives including our street outreach and HIV/Hepatitis C Rapid Testing services.

2019 – Strength In Peers moves its Harrisonburg office and Community Resource Center from East Market Street in Harrisonburg to a larger office with more visibility on N. Main Street. The staff receives formal training in Intentional Peer Support (IPS), a framework for inviting transformative relationships, created by Shery Mead, a leader in the peer recovery movement.

2020 – Strength In Peers, with the support of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), launches a Comprehensive Harm Reduction Program with authorization from the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Health Commissioner. The Harm Reduction program includes a mobile unit that distributes supplies to enrolled participants. Additionally, the organization, with the support of the Sentara Foundation, begins its Safe and Secure respite program for individuals experiencing homelessness and in need of a safe space to recuperate post-hospitalization.

2021 – Strength In Peers opens a sober-living house for men in Harrisonburg. In response to the Marcus-David Peters Act and the Equity at Intercept 0 initiative, Strength In Peers along with members from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Office of Recovery Services Region 1 team begin to develop a network that will direct individuals experiencing a mental health crisis not only to clinical providers but also to Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs), such as Strength In Peers.

2022 – Strength In Peers develops an internship program for Peer Recovery Specialists that seek to acquire their state certification. Strength In Peers staff members work towards becoming Registered-Peer Recovery Specialists (RPRS) through the Virginia Board of Counseling and in anticipation of the organization’s growing capacity to bill Medicaid for Peer Recovery services.

Our Growth Supports A Thriving Community.

Our organization continues to grow since its founding due to grants, community support, and forward planning. Strength In Peers regularly develops services and programs for those individuals seeking recovery based on their needs and community feedback. For those interested in participating in peer recovery, contact a member of our team. You can also support our mission by making a donation.