The Community Healing Project

A trauma-informed approach to community violence to help equip young adults with mental health skills.

Learn More About the Partnership

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The Community Healing Project (CHP) began in 2014, as a part of the City of Toronto’s Youth Equity Strategy. This project engages young people ages 18 to 29 who live in, work in, or are connected with one of the communities that the project is working with.

Stella’s Place has played a key role since 2017, offering youth the Peer Support Training Program.

The program received funding from the Youth Gang Prevention Fund (YGPF) as part of the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS).

How it works

Young adults become Healers by training to be certified in Peer Support through Stella’s Place. They are supported by a Coordinator and Peer Mentors.

The Healers then deliver 12 week workshops in their communities to their peers. 50 adult Healers from 20 communities are engaged in 2 cycles of training each year.

By the end of each cycle, participants leave with increased resiliency to trauma. They are also equipped with knowledge of coping mechanisms to avoid violence, self-care strategies and awareness of mental health support services.

Criteria to Apply

Self-identified lived experiences of community-based violence

Currently between the ages of 18 to 29

Live in, work in, or connected to one of the identified communities

A portrait of Dizzy, wearing a black shirt with a white jacket draped over one shoulder. Dizzy is wearing a navy baseball cap and has dark hair falling through on both sides of their face.

“CHP has been a true change in my life. It’s really changed my life for the better and healing in our communities right now is so important, especially in the pandemic. And this is the type of work that is going to get us through.”

 

-Dizzy, Peer Mentor

“Peer support is something our ancestors have been doing since the beginning of time! It takes a village to raise a child. And that small proverb or that small parable is a testament to how important community is to those who identify as Black or Afro-Caribbean people.”

 

-Jahfari, CHP Coordinator for the North Quadrant

A portrait of Jahfari standing in a park. He is wearing a black turtleneck with a silver chain necklace and a black head covering. Behind him blurred in the background you can see green grass, balloons and a brick house.

Healers (Paid Volunteers) Will:

  • Complete a Peer Support Worker certification to increase confidence & competence
  • Receive a $800 stipend for completing the training
  • Be eligible to apply for 12 weeks of workshop delivery with youth focused on trauma & healing in their community

  • Be compensated $150 honoraria per week for workshop delivery after training

The next Community Healing Project recruitment will take place late fall 2021

Please check back or email [email protected] for more information

“To have the opportunity to walk side by side with folks is rewarding but really important because it sets an example of hope for the kind of growth we want to see for communities and what we want to see in our societythat it’s possible.”

 

-Asante, Peer Support Training Manager

What is Peer Support?

Peer Support Workers have lived experience with mental health and recovery. They are also trained to give support to others experiencing similar challenges.

Having “been there” themselves, a Peer Support Workers can listen and respond from a place of true understanding. 

The values of respect, choice and mutual sharing form the basis of the relationship.

“The training helped me identify issues with my own mental health, and how to help people conquer similar types of issues that they are going through. I became a better version of myself in order to really serve my community.”

 

-Abdul, former Youth Peer Mentor Coordinator

Community Healing Project In the Media

A photo of a colourful building, taken outside on a bright cloudy day. The building has large multi-coloured hand drawn letters at the top that reads "Limitless Heights". Underneath on the yellow brick of the building are illustrations of hands stretched out.

Lawrence Heights warriors fight back against racist stereotypes and barriers that plague their neighbourhood