Outreach & Education To Support Our Community.
Strength In Peers plays a critical role in connecting people to vital resources in the community. The organization produces and distributes local Resource Guides and educational information for people living in the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham, Page, and Shenandoah Counties of Virginia. We operate as a key referrer for local community services and resources as well as offering our own groups and programs. In addition, we go out into the community to network, educate, and build relationships with the people who need community services and the people who provide them. Here’s what we offer:
Our Street Outreach initiatives began in November 2018 with the goals of lending peer recovery support, ensuring community resource connection, and delivering essential survival items to individuals experiencing homelessness. We conduct outreach at various locations where homeless individuals congregate and seek out individuals living in encampments, vehicles, or structures that are unfit for habitation. We help individuals living in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County as well as Shenandoah and Page Counties who are experiencing homelessness by:
- Lending peer support to help individuals cope with stress, anxiety, depression, substance use, and other mental and behavioral challenges.
- Distributing essential items such as food, socks, thermal blankets, ponchos, flashlights, masks, hand sanitizer, and bus passes.
- Providing COVID-19 rapid home tests when needed.
- Connecting individuals to emergency shelters and housing assistance programs.
- Helping individuals apply for Medicaid and other public benefits.
- Providing referrals to other community services for food, health care, employment, transportation, and other needs, including distributing our Community Resource Guide.
We have been offering peer support groups and reentry workshops in local jails since our organization started. We work in Page County Jail, Rockingham/Harrisonburg Regional Jail, and Middle River Regional Jail. We help individuals who are incarcerated make plans and connect to services that can help them transition to the community. We also get people started with peer support and recovery services prior to release.
Resource Fairs and Public Presentations
Our team regularly participates in community resource fairs, reentry fairs, and health events where we connect visitors to recovery information. Additionally, members of our staff frequently share their recovery stories and present Strength In Peers information with local businesses, law enforcement, colleges and universities, and human and public health service agencies.