The embrace of community, empowerment to work towards self-determined goals, and advocacy to reduce discrimination.
Members of Step Up and Daniel’s Place have many opportunities for inclusion. New members are connected to a Peer Advocate for a “buddy-system” and receive one-on-one peer attention, so vital in their initial term of treatment, when engagement is critical.
Through Step Up’s Client Run Center (CRC), peers seeks to engage members who are withdrawn and/or struggling with symptoms preventing them from actively seeking support. With peer-support, these members are more likely to be encouraged to access treatment. Members also meet weekly in the Member Advisory Council (MAC). The MAC provides a forum for feedback and problem-solving. Volunteering is also an essential component of Step Up member participation.
Peer groups cover a broad range of social, education, creative, and informational topics. An active monthly member class schedule offers over sixty peer support groups with topics including: learning how to tell your story; computer basics; managing medications; yoga; techniques for job interviews; and money management.
The CRC allows for the hiring of Step Up members to provide services such as coordinating “Julie’s Room”, a program for artists, and developing a Learning Lab where hands-on computer training and learning opportunities are provided by members, for members. The Learning Lab includes a partnership with University of Phoenix which provides access to online GED courses.
A creative writing group meets weekly to give written expression to what it’s like to be affected by a mental illness. This group has published numerous issues of its original magazine, “Brainstorm”.
The Art Heals Gallery, located on the first floor of Step Up on Fifth, is a permanent space to exhibit the member artists’ work. Additionally, two of our participants are active members on our Board of Directors and are involved in establishing and supporting the vision for the future of Step Up.
The mission of the The Tenants Advisory Committee (TAC) is to serve as an elected body of tenant members dedicated to taking an active role in enhancing the wellness opportunities available at Step Up. The TAC acts as a bridge for communications between members and staff as well as a catalyst for advocacy, change, and growth. The TAC consists of tenant representatives from Step Up on Second, Step Up on Fifth, and Daniel’s Village.