The Peer Model

"Nothing about us without us"

DISCUSS ISSUES AND CONCERNS
We discuss concerns both at the local and provincial level and communicate with each other across the province about current or emerging issues around access to healthcare, supports, life on the street and drug awareness. Members get together and discuss how AAWEAR can help address these issues.


HOLD WORKSHOPS TO IMPROVE OUR SKILLS IN EDUCATION AND PUBLIC SPEAKING
As a key role of AAWEAR is to advocate for ourselves, our peers and also to educate our peers and the wider community, it is important that we are able to do so in an informed and professional way. AAWEAR holds workshops and training throughout the year for members to gain skills in these key areas.


ADVOCATE FOR IMPROVED HEALTH
AAWEAR promotes healthier living and lifestyles to our peers, encouraging them to make healthier choices and provide a range of supplies in order to help people do this. Also access to healthcare for people who use drugs is often lacking and as such, people who use drugs generally have poorer health outcomes. Due to the stigma around drug use, many of our population would rather not seek health care and as such suffer from poorer health. AAWEAR seeks to address this by doing presentations to health professionals and students entering the field.


PRESENT TO COMMUNITY GROUPS, CONFERENCES AND PROVIDE EDUCATION TO OUR PEERS
AAWEAR has given presentations to local not-for-profits, university and college students, and harm reduction conferences across the province. We also give presentations to clients of other agencies to increase and build community awareness of the group and provide education.


PEER OUTREACH
AAWEAR currently has Peer Outreach running in Calgary and Edmonton. Peers from both cities go out onto the streets and provide outreach support, supplies and referrals to people living on the streets. Using our peer networks, AAWEAR has been fantastic in accessing hard to engage with individuals and linking them up with services and supports.

Alberta has a blend of poverty and wealth. It’s important to see one another as people without being labelled by our differences
— AAWEAR member