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Peer Support Worker (Lived Experience)

Mainstay Housing

This is a Contract position in Toronto, ON posted August 27, 2020.

Personal lived experience with mental health and/or addictions challenges
Willingness to share that lived experience

One Year Contract Part time
Peer Support Worker (14 to 21 hours per week )
Years of Experience: 1 to 2
Starting hourly rate: $16.00
Regular hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Mainstay Housing works with people living with mental health and addictions challenges who are deeply affected by poverty, and provides them with housing, on-going support and greater opportunity to be part of a community. We are a private non-profit housing corporation with an exciting opportunity for an individual to join our growing team. Your part in our mission is to provide an understanding of our tenants’ struggles while promoting recovery, independence and quality of life as site support to our tenants in their achievement of self-determined wellness and recovery goals.

Peer Support Workers report to a Manager, Tenant & Member Services, and work collaboratively with a team of Supportive Housing Workers. This position will bring lived experience of mental health and/or substance use challenges, the mental-health & addictions system and the consumer-survivor movement to individual and group tenant support. The position requires an individual who can positively demonstrate high-quality customer service and clear communication with tenants, staff, and community members.

Key Duties & Responsibilities:

Integrate own recovery process and lived experience of the mental health system to support tenants with their recovery journeys as they move directly from the streets into permanent housing.

  • Assist tenants with understanding their tenancy rights and responsibilities.
  • Engage and build relationships with tenants from a peer perspective.
  • Assist and support tenants with full and meaningful participation in their building and the local community, conflict resolution, advocacy and linkage with community resources.
  • Provide a consumer-survivor perspective to program development and implementation, building collaborative working relationships with external community agencies.
  • Co-create, and implement various recovery-oriented group activities with tenants.
  • Perform all duties as directed to promote and encourage tenant independence, tenant hope, and tenant self-determination.


  • Personal lived experience with mental health and/or addictions challenges
  • Willingness to share that lived experience in a relevant and appropriate manner, maintaining peer/tenant boundaries
  • Capable of maintaining neutrality in order to perform consistently with Mainstay philosophy and objectives
  • Comfort and sensitivity working with individuals who experienced chronic homelessness, severe mental illness and addictions challenges
  • Ability to work with tenants integrating recovery principles
  • Knowledge of, and commitment to, anti-racism/anti-oppression framework, and recovery philosophies
  • Knowledge of recovery principles, harm reduction principles and practice, and substance use survivor initiatives, goals and resources
  • Ability to work positively within a multi-disciplinary team environment, and independently self-motivate
  • Experience in peer support gained from volunteer or paid work
  • Ability to prioritize needs and organize work efficiently
  • Ability to problem solve and make recommendations to resolve issues
  • Proficiency in English; strong oral and written communication skills
  • Computer competency (MS Word, Outlook email, Internet)


  • Completion of peer worker training and/or recovery-oriented approaches such as WRAP or Pathways to Recover
  • Education/training, work/volunteer experience in health or social services
  • Crisis intervention skills
  • Direct supportive housing experience
  • Familiarity with the Residential Tenancies Act

The residential building/work environment does not have smoke-free units.

Mainstay Housing is an environment that is characterized by respect, choice & inclusion. We strive to reflect the diversity of the community. We are committed to developing an inclusive, barrier-free selection process and work environment. If contacted, please advise if you require any accommodation measures to ensure you will be interviewed in a fair and equitable manner.


Salary: 16.00