The non-profit formerly known as Seattle Area Support Group has had to adapt to many changes in the last couple of years including losing their longtime home on top of Capitol Hill. As part of their evolution, the group has changed its name to PEER SEATTLE and just moved into its new home.
But, the group is still dedicated to providing important services to Seattle’s LGBTQ community including providing support groups for people dealing with addictions but also provides peer coaching, employment support, and very valuable resource connections to aid a variety of clients needing assistance.
Late last month, the group’s executive director Joshua Wallace release this statement announcing SASG’s big move and name change:
Via media announcement:
We are excited to announce that in February 2019, Seattle Area Support Groups will be changing our name to Peer Seattle (www.peerseattle.org) to coincide with the move to our new location at 1520 Bellevue Ave, Suite 100 (between Pike and Pine). We envision a space where peers come together in support and personal development through the ever-evolving components of community informed programming. Our new space is designed to do just that with room to grow our staff and the addition of a dedicated events and training room to hold or host opportunities that benefit our community.
Seattle Area Support Groups has experienced a significant amount of growth over the past eight years in both programming and membership thanks to the dedicated efforts of our volunteers, board of directors and staff. Our premise is simple; LGBTQA+ identified individuals and our allies with lived experience addressing the challenges of addiction, mental health and/or HIV understand and support one another in a way that no one else can. Together we break the bonds of isolation through community, exhibit hope for reaching our unlimited potential, build person-centered recovery, challenge the myths laid upon us by social stigma, and maintain our personal recovery by giving support back to one another.
In 2018, our board of directors met with an organizational development expert to take an objective look at where we are today and where are we going in the future. Two things became very clear during this process for the board; our name no longer reflects the range of our peer services and our current space can no longer accommodate our program growth. Support groups are still a large part of our peer programming model, but we also offer peer coaching, peer-supported employment, anonymous HIV testing, personal development training opportunities, community outreach, resource and referral services, social gatherings and so much more. The thread that weaves all these pieces together is that we are peers with shared lived experience (members, volunteers, staff and board).
We owe a great deal of gratitude to our funders for their continued support of our peer model (Washington Health Care Authority – Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery, Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority, King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division, King County Drug Diversion Court, The Norcliffe Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Community Engagement and Health, Pride Foundation and many more). We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Board & Vellum for donating their services to design and decorate our new space, MRJ Constructors for making sure that we are able to fully build out our new space within our budget, and the O’Neill Foundation, Lawson Manufacturing and The Norcliffe Foundation for their generous contributions towards our renovation expenses.
On behalf of the board of directors, thank you for your patience and support during this process. We hope that you are as excited as we are for this next chapter in our organization’s long history.
Joshua A. Wallace, Executive Director