A knowledge exchange forum on peer work in housing and homelessness took place on November 27, 2023. Strummed in by local musician, Dan Crow, led by the Peer Navigator Project with support from CRHESI, peer workers from multiple organizations, their co-workers and leaders, and researchers gathered at Innovation Works, in downtown London.
The afternoon was buzzing with shared insights about the unique value of peer work to support people accessing health and social services, passion to address challenges and a keen urgency to mobilize efforts to support the growth of peer work.
The following summarizies key issues raised by event participants with recommendations for action.
The Peer Navigator Project is a community-based research project that works alongside key community partners to engage Peer Navigators (PN) in Canada: London, Toronto, and Vancouver, and Kenya: Eldoret, Huruma, and Kitale. The goal of this study is to determine how well PNs meet the needs of street connected youth, particularly in facilitating access to HIV and AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment. The Peer Navigator Project (PNP) is funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research. Please click the following weblink to read the full interim report: https://pnpstudy.net/peer-navigator-project-18-month-progress-report-toronto-2/
Below is an introduction to peer work and the PNP with a focus on the London, ON site.
Creating an On-Going Community of Peer Workers
This event, Peer Driven Work in Housing and Homelessness for Health Equity, fostered meaningful discussions and shed light on the dedication of peer workers, and their leaders and colleagues in community.
Envisioning the future of peer work, participants called for ways to continue their connection, to continue to support each other and advocate for peer work.
Plans are in progress for a peer-led community of practice to begin in early 2024!
For more information please contact:
Thanks to the event planning committee: Abe Oudshoorn, Amy Van Berkum, Arun Jentrick, Christine Garinger, Jenna Pogue, Kaitlyn Widdup, and Katie MacEntee.