Lived Experience Helps Answer “What Do I Do Next?”

Mary and Mckenzie, Certified Peer Counselors, post outside of Triumph’s Peer Support offices.

Triumphs Peer Support program began visiting Camp Hope on a regular basis in August of 2022.  Camp Hope is a low-barrier, day-time warming station and overnight shelter for men, women and families experiencing homelessness.

Weekly, these counselors and mentors visit Camp Hope and make themselves available to residents there, educating them on the various services Triumph offers, as well as connecting them with other resources available in the Yakima area. Many people living at the encampment feel that there is no way out of their situations, or they dont know where to start, and Peer Support counselors’ lived experience equips them to more easily relate to residents, offering a sense of hope and encouragement as well as various tools needed to make a change. They connect individuals and families with resources such as housing, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment, often walking them through the necessary paperwork or assisting them in making a phone call.

One man told Peer Support “I had an assessment, I just don’t know what to do next.” Peer Support connected him with an Admissions officer at Triumph, who was able to secure a bed for him the following day at the James Oldham Treatment Center.

In a 30 hour period, Peer Support can connect with nearly 180 residents at Camp Hope, a demonstration of Triumphs promise to bring hope and new life to those who desire it.

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