People with Mental Health and Physical Disabilities
ABOUT THE GRANTEE
BEAP was created in 2018 after a meeting of the Abbotsford Drug War Survivors, with over 100 homeless and drug using Abbotsford citizens present. BEAP emerged from people with lived and living experience (PWLLE)—as PWLLE were already voluntarily doing the work (without proper supplies and protocols) and because many felt they wanted an opportunity to step back into some form of employment (even if just a casual volunteer labour pool that they can join when they are having a good moment). The homeless/drug using community are not so much ‘engaged’ as much as they are leading, processing and communicating every decision, and shaping the project as they go. Between meetings, to crisis, to the small details, drug using/homeless citizens and the community are collaborating everything
BEAP is peer-led, all decisions are brought to the stewarding group of PWLLE and made using a consensus model, if anyone is not in agreement then a decision does not move forward and requires more conversations. This may sound like a very difficult task; however, we have found that it works well and challenges folks to work together and have meaningful conversations that continue to move the project forward.
Overview of Overdose Response Work:
• Partnered with other harm reduction, poverty reduction and homelessness initiatives in the community through Naloxone training, safe consumption sites, other peer support programs in the community, outreach and education, harm reduction supplies distribution work
• Provided peer mentorship opportunities for those that have lived/living experience with drug use and homelessness.
• Worked on youth development and education (specifically youth that have experience with foster care, mental health, drug use, and homelessness) to educate on harm reduction
• Providing opportunities for dialogs, workshops, and conferences around drug use, homelessness, etc.