Macomb County Warming Center

Peer-to-Peer Support
 Program Goals
The goals of the Peer-to-Peer Support Program (PPSP) are to:  

Provide an additional and/or alternative avenue for the dissemination and discussion of available resources and how  to access them in order to obtain or keep permanent housing as quickly as possible.

Provide a non-threatening peer-to-peer environment that is intended to foster discussions and the exchange of best practices, successful techniques and anecdotal testimonies. 

Reinforce accountability for actions as each participant must report to the group at each meeting their activities, successes, roadblocks, etc.  

Look for ways the participants can mainstream into the community through volunteerism or other activities that  require responsibility and accountability.  

Provide positive reinforcement, emotional support and a community connection as the participants “plateau”* and await word of acceptance from their contacts (prospective employers, landlords, etc.)

*(Plateau refers to the stage a homeless individual can face after submitting all required documentation and forms to the appropriate agencies or departments and must wait until processing is complete, review is complete and successful selection of their application is complete.  They cannot elevate to the next step of housing until review and selection.  Such a wait period, or plateau can extend 6 to 12 months in some cases.) 

Eligibility
All individuals identified as homeless are eligible to apply.  Applications will be reviewed for completeness and applicability to the program by the Project Coordinator.  Personal interviews will be conducted with applicants to review program intent, required commitments of time and effort, program rules and desired outcomes.  Accepted individuals will possess traits and qualities identified as being critical for their success in the program.  Interviews and final selection of participants will be the responsibility of the Project Coordinator and the Executive Director.  Successful applicants will be required to sign a Participant Agreement that demonstrates their commitment to the requirements of the program.

Participant Benefits
In order to encourage initial participation into the program and to build positive commitment, certain benefits may be employed to assure all participants attend each meeting.  Such incentives, beyond the exchange of ideas, support, peer feedback, and helpful direction may include:

​* Additional bus tickets or gasoline vouchers.

* ​Phone, food or clothing gift cards.

* ​First review for employment or volunteer opportunities made known to program officials. 

* ​Assistance with obligations which stand in the way of your progress.


GETTING STARTED

This program is specially designed to help those without homes or at risk of losing their home to find employment, stable housing and self-determination.



Interested homeless persons or those without a permanent address may come in to The Ray of Hope to apply on:

Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays between 9 a.m. - 12 noon

Openings are limited.  If accepted, you will be given bus tickets and other resources when available to enable you to get to the groups, job searches, help for housing, etc.

TO QUALIFY, YOU MUST BE ABLE AND WILLING TO WORK

Questions?  Call 586-321-0998
Refreshments served at The Ray of Hope and all peer group meetings.



Macomb County Warming Center
... and Ray of Hope Day Center
The Peer-to-Peer Support Group Project is a program of peer support, guidance and feedback for motivated homeless individuals to assist in securing permanent housing, employment and mainstream activities.  Peer-to-Peer support relies upon the input, suggestions, directions, tips and techniques from peer homeless to each other in a roundtable group discussion format where ideas are offered freely and emotional reinforcement is readily available.

Initially, group(s) will be small in size (4 to 6 individuals) in order to facilitate discussion easily.  Groups will be led by a trained group leader that has experienced homelessness in the past and successfully overcome the same obstacles that the current participants face on a daily basis.  Each meeting requires each participant to report individually to their group on their activities since the previous meeting, identified by the group as necessary in order to secure housing and/or employment.  Groups will meet on a weekly basis for one hour each session.  Group leaders will be trained by a professional leadership training group selected by the Executive Director. 

As the program develops, group size and number of active groups will increase and future group leaders will be chosen from successful participants of earlier Peer-to-Peer Support groups. Expected capacity in six months is three group leaders and eighteen group participants – a total of 21 active group individuals.
Peer Support members help each other on the computer, above. At right, Rhonda Browder-Gaines , Anthony Davis and Jerome Gelil, Peer Support Members addressed a statewide conference on homelessness.