Peer group Street Degree program saving lives in the Downtown Eastside


Joy Phelps, Peer Worker at Molson OPS (left) and Sally Kupp, VCH Nurse Educator (right) outside the Molson OPS after Joy completed her certificate in overdose response, with the Street Degree program.

The Street Degree Program was created by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Portland Hotel Society (PHS) and launched in 2017 to ensure that peers working at overdose prevention sites and other harm reduction services could boost their lived experience with formal training in areas such as overdose response, pain management, cultural safety, community resources and managing extreme situations.

The program is being recognised and celebrated for helping save lives in the Downtown Eastside. Peers from across all Overdose Prevention and Safe Consumption sites (OPS/SCS) and organisations including Raincity, Powell Street Getaway, Molson and Maple, are all graduating from the courses co-run by Nurse Educators and Harm Reduction Peers. This education is empowering peers to offer the continuing frontline support services required in the Vancouver Community to help manage the Overdose Crisis.

Click the image above for further information about the Street Degree curriculum and how it has had such a big impact on the overdose community.

Joy, one of 15 Street Degree graduates, shares how the Street degree has helped put her in a healthier space. Click the image below for Joy's story and more information on the street degree.

Also, Click the image below for a short video including Sally Kupp, VCH Nurse Educator and Jonathon Orr, Manager of Maple and Molson OPS; both leads for the Street Degree program.

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