The data collected for the Constitution of Intent (2021) was compiled during the The Service Provider Individualized Recovery Intensive Training (S.P.I.R.I.T) internship that I (Jo Bruno) did through Contra Costa College (CCC), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Consumer Empowerment (OCE). OCE is a department within our Behavioral Health Department.
Already working with the Council on Homelessness (H3), which is a division of the Health Services, I wanted to build a bridge between the two departments in order to capture the lived-experience of homelessness. Strengthening the partnerships already in the Delta Peers network, I conducted outreach by holding community meetings, gathering input from, so far, 26 people. Of those community partners were OCE staff, S.P.I.R.I.T students and alumni, Delta Peers members, Health Leads Housing is Health committee, community members, and county/social workers.
|Inform & Educate|
Support for further education:
Train the trainer
Cross-Sectional Training (H3/OCE)
Parent/partners know their roles
Peer to department
Peer-Ran Orgs to departments
Provide more access to peer trainings, policy making, advocacy teams, information sessions etc.
Create jobs specifically around facilitating peer trainings to develop advocates who can help others using the system (DP peer navigation)
Peer partners build trust between system and community
|Consult, Listen & Relate|
Streamline relatable data:
Message of hope and recovery
Promote racial equity
What can the community do?
How can community fix problem?
|Validating lived-experience gives them democratic authority as a policy maker, changing the system. |
Guidance on how one can advocate for themselves while they’re in crisis or utilizing the system.
Peer liaison groups to discuss problems and solutions around BIPOC experiences.
|Include & Compensate|
Provide incentives for completing programs:
Receive guidance toward skills development into relevant work.
Acknowledge economic inequalities for BIPOCBuild a peer foundation
Find a peer grant writer who has lived-experience
Develop skills already acquired by lived-experience and work history. Resume building/job placements.
Opportunity to try different things with the support of other peers. The work you’re doing is being yourself.
Understanding that creating job skills and acquiring a job may not work, so having guidance and support to other opportunities.
Meet them where they are.
|Build Community Partners|
Cross Sector language:
Student becomes the teacher
Use peer model to educate others within system/CBOs.
Allow space for youth language, systematic language, etc.
No more alphabet soup dialog
Community mindset, peer coalition. Bringing value to the story of the lived-experience.
Groups of peers go to community members, sharing the current work in the meetings of the system.
Peer partners educate the community while the community gives the peer partner insight to bring back to the system meeting.
Cross Sector Empowerment:
Peers hired in county positions
Clinicians/social workers need peer support, too.
Encourage peers to become community partners/advocates
|UNITE community members with community partners who will connect with peer workers already in the system, which gives the opportunity to educate the system workers who don’t have peer knowledge. |
Opportunity to explore emotions of trauma.
Find logical, cognitive understanding of the trauma and how it can change the work place.
- INFORM and EDUCATE: Give facts, share information, and provide formative, quality principles (the fundamental truths of peer support and advocacy/advisory). The
- S.P.I.R.I.T graduate holds training opportunities to talk about Peer Support in the work-place, becoming peer trainers for their co-workers, facilitating presentations, implementing peer support for the department.
- CONSULT, LISTEN, and RELATE: Seeking advice from those with lived-experience, acknowledging that the racial equity perspective is essential; the story-telling aspect. It’s probably the most important part of this entire framework. We would capture the lived-experience perspective from each peer involved with each discussion, bringing it back to the department/committee for them to bring it to the board of supervisors.
- INCLUDE and COMPENSATE: Practicing and providing equal access to become part of the whole system of care. When a peer, one with lived-experience, shares their story we compensate for their time. Compensation is on a needs-by-needs basis, meeting the peer where they are, recognizing the inequities of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color).
- BUILDING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS and COLLABORATIONS: The process of working together to create something in agreement. Best practices while coordinating with others not already in the network. Community members are the partnerships we’re building.
- EMPOWER SELF-AGENCY: Given the authority of one’s own livelihood. Allowing the process of self-awareness by strengthening their confidence in advocacy work and personal story-telling. Knowing and understanding how their lived-experience can influence the system, they build a sense of identity within their experience and crisis. It doesn’t determine who they are, but rather how they can use what’s happened to benefit their livelihoods.
UNHOUSED LENS: The unhoused community are met by peers who start the relationship with community members who are in crisis. This is building trust with the community member. The peer is the Community Partner, partnering with H3 (or other department/organization), who is doing the community outreach.
NEXT STEPS: Each category listed above will be further explored from community members. There will be ongoing Peer Network meetings through OCE, which will provide opportunities to share input to the constitution. At any time, a community member and/or county worker can suggest edits to raise awareness to other best practices not listed.
Contra Costa Peer Support Constitution of Intent
Proposed Pilot Program:
OCE (peer specialists) and Delta Peers (unhoused population)
Final draft last updated: 10.20.21 (edited by Jo: Next Steps)