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Community Health Workers

Community Health Worker Peers talking

In 2015, the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice received funding from the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) to participate in the "Supporting Male Survivors of Violence Demonstration Initiative."

Designed to promote creative ways to support young men healing from trauma, this OVC grant funds two primary pilot projects at the Center: the Community Health Worker Peer (CHWP) project and the CYPHER Community Engagement project.

Community Health Worker Peer Project

The Community Health Worker Peer project (CHWP) is the development of a training and employment program for CHWPs, some of whom will work within the HHP program to support participants in their recovery. A combination of traditional Community Health Workers and Certified Peer Specialists, the CHWPs are trained to work with both individuals and the broader community to promote healing from trauma due to intentional interpersonal injury and violence.

The CHWPs trained in this pilot project are young men (ages 18-30) with lived experience of violence. They are particularly well-placed to impact trauma-informed healing and building resilience, as they are both in and of the communities they serve.

We are actively engaging other trauma-focused providers in conversations about how to employ CHWPs in their facilities. We have trained three cohorts of CHWPs beginning in 2017. We plan to begin training our fourth cohort of CHWPs in Spring of 2020.

Training Opportunity

The Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice is accepting applications for its Community Health Worker Peer/Certified Peer Specialist Training Academy until March 13, 2020.

If you are between 18 and 30 years old, have experienced violent injury, identify as male, have a high school diploma or GED, and are willing to commit to 165 hours of training over nine weeks (participants will be paid for training), you are eligible to apply.

Download the CHWP fact sheet (PDF) or the program flyer (PDF) for more information.

Download the application form (PDF) here.

Completed application packets (including resume) must be received by the March 13, 2020, deadline to be considered. The instructions to submit your application are included on the last page of the application form.

CYPHER Community Engagement Project

The CYPHER project focuses on supporting outreach to people in the community who are impacted by intentional injury and violence but are not currently involved with Healing Hurt People. CYPHER stands for "Communities of Young People Healing, Experiencing & Rebuilding." These 10-session meetings are guided forums for trauma-informed education and empowerment.

The goal of the CYPHER project is to build trauma-informed resources and resilience on both an individual and neighborhood level. CYPHER meetings are designed to be based in the community and facilitated by trained individuals who have lived experience of violence. Young adults who complete the CHWP Training Academy learn the skills needed to co-facilitate the CYPHER and help to deliver each CYPHER series in the community.