Grant From OHA (Continued)

We Continue to Work on OHA's Community-Based Organization Grant

The following is a peer support specialist’s experience written using they/them pronouns

Shortly after COVID hit, our team began working with a peer that lives alone and couldn’t drive. Prior to COVID, the family was their delivery source for food and supplies, but after the pandemic began, their family decided it was too much of a health risk to visit in person. Suddenly family contact became minimal, to phone conversations only, and food and supplies started coming via contactless delivery services. Their relationship with their Uncle, with whom they were really close, declined. Our peer, desperate for connection, began using the county’s crisis line until it became multiple times a day. Eventually, they came to us. Now we’ve been working with our peer for over a year. The number of times they call the crisis line, or even for peer support, has drastically gone down.

When the vaccine came out, our peer was skeptical and had many questions. Together we explored the materials their county, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) had to offer. Ultimately, they decided to get the vaccine hoping to return to their normal family relationships. They reached out to us for support with help setting up an appointment once they qualified for the vaccine. Our peer has now had both of their vaccines and is on their way to seeing their Uncle in person again!