Peer Washington's Staff Newsletter
Welcome to March! Can anyone tell me how many years it has been since we were last in the month of March? I am unsure. 2020 was a wild time...
Please, browse at your leisure and take the time to check out JEDI's (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) new educational proposal; you may even have some candidates in mind to nominate as speakers. It is also Women's History Month, so I made sure to curate recommendations for you to dive into and hopefully learn something new from.
If you have feedback regarding what you'd like to see in our newsletter, please submit it HERE.
Quick Links & Stories
March is Women's History Month.
March 12th: National Girl Scout Day. Buy cookies!
March 14th: Happy Birthday Josh Wallace!
March 14th: Daylight Saving Time.
March 15th & 16th: Sara and Jess will be busy performing their data audit.
March 18th: Join us playing Skribbl.io for our Staff Connection meeting! Learn more about Skribbl.io HERE.
March 20th: Spring Equinox.
March 21st: World Down Syndrome Day. Learn about its inception and how "odd socks" fit into celebrating.
March 23rd: Happy Birthday Roberta "Bert" Romero!
March 25th: Happy Birthday Rivet Dogpants!
March 27th: Earth Hour. Celebrated on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour encourages everyone to shut off all non-essential electric use from 8:30 - 9:30 pm to raise awareness for climate change.
Tune of the Month
Would you like to enjoy a psychedelic journey involving experimental composer/musician Dan Deacon's exploration of the afterlife concept with his song "When I Was Done Dying" played over nine different animators' interpretations of various sections within the song?
Sounds good, me too.
A Note on Our Foundational Community Supports
The rate of homelessness within Washington State has continued to increase over the years as living costs continue to rise and living wages become harder to obtain. In January of 2020, King County reported a 5% increase in homelessness after 11,751 individuals identified as homeless within one night. Of these individuals, 47% were living unsheltered. As a peer lead emotional support service provider, we strive to ensure our members and community have access to the support and resources they need.
Offering housing and employment resources is just a small way Peer Washington works to decrease the number of those impacted by homelessness and lack of employment. Our Foundational Community Supports (FCS) program offers Apple Health-eligible members the opportunity to receive support through supported employment and supportive housing services. FCS services are modeled around Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based practice focused on providing individualized, monthly 1-on-1 support. Our supported employment Peer Support Specialists (PSS) meet with members to connect on topics such as available competitive employment opportunities, educational/technical training, and even Medicaid and Social Security benefit offerings. While our supportive housing PSS team works closely with members to locate housing resources for rent assistance as well as permanent housing opportunities. All services offered are completely customizable and based on member preference to ensure the appropriate resources are received and encourage member autonomy.
Currently, Peer Spokane offers both supported employment and supportive housing services. Our Seattle location provides supportive housing and will soon offer supported employment services. While Peer Kent provides supported employment services with an addition of supportive housing services to come. We alone cannot end homelessness, but we can ensure our members are provided the tools and resources for financial success and stability. FCS-supported employment and supportive housing provide that foundation to ensure members continue to succeed long after services are utilized. It is a small step in the right direction in the battle to end homelessness for good.
To learn more about our FCS program or the supported employment and supportive housing services offered, please reach out to Justin (Justin@peerspokane.org), Kimmy (Kimmy@peerseattle.org), or Michelle (Michelle@peerspokane.org). They are great resources!
Thursday Staff Connections
Last Thursday. . .
Last week's Staff Connections meeting had Peer Kent making a great showing. Topics varied from the history of Peer Washington to what it is like having kids and what about us have changed during the influence of Covid-19. These Thursday meetings are a great way to get to know your fellow staff members, and you get paid to do it!