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National Empowerment Center

Directory of Peer-run Crisis Services

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There are many different types of peer-run and peer-operated alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization. Successful peer-run and peer-operated respites are currently operating in California, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Below is a directory of peer-run and peer-operated alternatives compiled by NEC. If you are aware of a program or service that should be added to this list, please contact the National Empowerment Center with the information. [Click to download this directory (PDF, 114KB, 4 pages)]

A Peer-Run Respite indicates that peers oversee, staff, and operate the respite at all levels and that at least 51% of the Board of Directors identifies as peers.

A Hybrid indicates that although the respite is attached to a traditional provider organization and/or the Board of Directors is comprised of less than half peers, the director and staff of the respite do identify as peers.

Click here for an overview peer respites in the United States (PDF, 1MB, 3 pages).



Website: www.afiyahouse.org
Location: Northampton, MA
Phone: 413-570-2990
Funded primarily by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Afiya strives to provide a safe space in which each person can find the balance and support needed to turn what is so often referred to as a ‘crisis’ into a learning and growth opportunity. Afiya is located in a residential neighborhood in Northampton, Massachusetts and is central to a variety of community resources. It is available to anyone ages 18 and older who is experiencing distress and feels they would benefit from being in a short-term, 24-hour peer-supported environment with others who have ‘been there.’ Typical stays at Afiya range from one to seven days. The majority of people you will meet (including in leadership roles) at Afiya identify as having lived experience that may include extreme emotional or altered states, psychiatric diagnoses, trauma histories, living without a home, navigating the mental health and other public systems, addictions and more.


Website: www.alyssum.org
Location: Rochester, Vermont
Phone: 802-767-6000
Contact: Gloria van den Berg | alyssum.ed@gmail.com

Open as of November 21, 2011, the mission of Alyssum is to provide a peer operated non- medical holistic approach to mental wellness and recovery for Vermonters who are experiencing emotional crisis. This alternative to psychiatric hospitalization provides a safe, mutually supportive, non- judgmental, educational and self- empowering environment. Alyssum affords individuals the opportunity to engage in the principles of wellness, recovery and peer support and to emerge from crisis with wisdom and the personal responsibility skills for living well.

CSPNJ WELLNESS RESPITE SERVICES - Middlesex & Passaic Counties, New Jersey

Website: www.cspnj.org

The Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey (CSPNJ) Wellness Respite Service (WRS) is a peer operated crisis diversion resource located in Middlesex and Passaic Counties. Serving individuals who are 21 years of age or older and who are experiencing crisis or severe emotional distress, the WRS is geared for people who seek assistance in managing an acute crisis that interferes with their personal recovery and wellness. Guests are able to receive support in a comfortable home environment located in the community for up to 10 days, and an additional 30 days of follow-up support. The WRS is a unique opportunity for peers in crisis to connect, build relationships, gain support to lessen emotional distress.

Middlesex County Wellness Respite Services Phone Line: 732-354-4403

Passaic County Wellness Respite Services Phone Line: 862-239-9896

Funded by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services

FOUNDATIONS: A Place for Education and Recovery

Website: www.foundationscanton.org
Location: 1707 Cleveland Ave., NW, Canton, OH
Phone: 330-454-2888

Funded by the county mental health board, the Foundations program includes educational and support groups, trainings, and opportunities for volunteers to be part of the organization. People are referred to the program by their service provider and usually stay 1-3 days. Three respite bedrooms are available; guests in the respite choose what they need to do for their own support and recovery. Many people become volunteer peer workers after being released. Suicidal people are referred to a crisis center. This is a clinically oriented respite program, overseen by the community mental health center and staffed by consumers.


Website: www.gmhcn.org/wellnesscenter
Phone: 470-225-9659 
Contact: Roslind Hayes, Statewide Coordinator,
Email: wellnesscenter@gmhcn.org 

The Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers of Georgia are projects of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, funded through a contract with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

The Peer Support, Wellness and Respite Centers of Georgia (PSWRCs) are peer-run alternatives to traditional mental health services. The first PSWRC was opened in Decatur, GA on January 30, 2008. In June 2011, two more locations were opened in North Georgia as a response to the regional hospital closing in North Georgia. In September 2014, two more PSWRCs were opened, also in response to a regional hospital closing in South Georgia. Each of the five PSWRCs offer a 24/7 warmline, daily wellness activities, community resources, computers/wifi, and 3 respite rooms where a person can stay for up to 7 days instead of going into  psychiatric hospital. The PSWRCs are open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm for house tours, activities, community outings, general resources, and computers. See the website for more detailed information and schedules for each PSWRC.  [Visit their website]


Metro Atlanta
Address: 444 Sycamore Dr; Decatur, GA 30030
Director: Jayme Lynch, CPS
Email: jayme@gmhcn.org
Contact: 404-371-1414

White County
Address: 46 Knaus Drive; Cleveland, Ga 30528
Director: Victoria Fuller, CPS
Email: victoria@gmhcn.org
Contact: 706-865-3601

Bartow County
Address: 201 N Erwin St; Cartersville, GA  30120
Director: Jennifer Barnett, CPS
Email: jennifer@gmhcn.org
Contact: 770-276-2019

Colquitt County
Address: 417 2nd St. SE; Moultrie, GA 31768
Director: Shaun Johnson, CPS
Email: shaun@gmhcn.org
Contact: 229-873-9737

Henry County
Address: 67 Keys Ferry St; McDonough, GA  30253
Director: Noah Williams, CPS
Email: noah@gmhcn.org
Contact: 678-782-7666


Website: www.prpsn.org/index.php/about-project-return/hacienda-of-hope
Location: 2241 W. Williams Street, Long Beach, Ca 90810
Phone: 562-388-8183

Hacienda of Hope is a welcoming homelike environment that offers support, and tools for fostering wellness and managing crisis and recovery. Guests stay in a residential respite home that is run by peers with lived experience, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Guests have the opportunity to create individualized wellness and recovery action plans that are entered around the 8 Dimensions of Wellness and Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP).

Hacienda of Hope is a partnership between Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN) and Mental Health America Los Angeles (MHALA).


Website: http://keya.mha-ne.org
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, Mental Health Association of Nebraska
Phone: 888-902-2822

Keya House is a peer-run respite program offering an alternative support system to psychiatric hospitalization. Keya House provides a comfortable, clean, furnished four-bedroom house in a quiet and safe neighborhood. Trained peer companions who are compassionate, understanding, and empowering offer self-help and proactive recovery tools to regain and maintain wellness. They understand the need for support in these difficult times, and offer strength, hope, and knowledge about recovery to those individuals who need a supportive and healing environment.

Reflections: Whole Life Recovery Community
A program of Recovery Partnership

Website: www.recoverypartnership.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reflections.wholeliferecoverycommunity
Location: 1360 Main Street Hellertown, PA 18055
Phone: 610-748-1011
Fax: 610-748-1012
Contact: Donna Keutmann, CPRP RPpeerservices@gmail.com

Recovery Partnership opened the doors to Reflections in March, 2014 responding to the needs voiced within our local community. Reflections is for individuals who are experiencing distress and feel that they would benefit from connecting with others who have "been there". We provide short-term 24 hour peer-to-peer support within a home-like environment. Reflections is pet-friendly and can have up to three guests at a time. We offer a non-medical, supportive approach where individuals find hope and healing. Our goal is to ease the feelings of panic, anger, powerlessness, and frustration through a common connection. This common connection offers a non-judgmental, trusting relationship within which individuals can explore new methods of dealing with personal triggers. We are centrally located within Northampton County, PA and accessible by public transportation.


Rose House is an innovative and unique “hospital diversion” model whereby persons seeking temporary residential care/respite care can stay from one to five nights in a warm, friendly, safe and supportive home-like environment where they are taught to use new recovery and relapse prevention skills. Rose House’s services are designed to help ‘at risk’ individuals to break the cycle of learned helplessness and recidivism and to move away from what are often long histories of cycling from home to crisis to hospital, year after year. This is achieved through twenty-four hour peer support, self-advocacy education, self-help training and mutual understanding. In addition to the Rose House, PEOPLe, Inc. has developed a continuum of peer-operated services that are collaboratively integrated with the community mental health service delivery system; these include peer emergency room services, peer-run crisis support warmline, and an in-home companion program. All services are free to recipients.

Website: www.projectstoempower.org (click the menu link for "Hospital Diversion")
Cost per day: $657 for 1-5 people; $132 per person per day if house is at full occupancy.

Director of Diversion Services: Vanessa Turner
1612 Rt. 9w Milton, NY 12547
Phone: (845) 795-2346
E-Mail: vanessat@projectstoempower.org

Orange County Location:

1616 Route 9W, Milton, NY
Phone: 845-795-2346
Contact: Maryann Lucchesi
Email: maryannl@projectstoempower.org.

Putnam County Location:

63 Kent Lake Ave., Carmel, NY
Phone: 845-225-7469
Contact: Debbie O'Gorman | debbieo@projectstoempower.org


Website: www.shareselfhelp.org
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Phone: 310-846-5270
Funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

The SHARE! Recovery Retreat provides adults with up to two weeks of intensive recovery activities, including self-help support groups, independent living skills, conflict resolution and paths to achieving goals. Living together as a family in a home in a residential neighborhood, participants take responsibility for the program, meals, chores, budget and resolving issues as they come up. Stays range from one to 14 days. The people who work at the house are all people with lived experience of substance abuse, mental health disorders and more.


Website: www.steppingstonenextstep.org

Established in 1995, Stepping Stone is an active peer center open 7 hours a day Monday through Saturday with a variety of activities for clients and with two bedrooms for those who choose to stay as respite guests. People who choose to say as guests stay overnight from one to seven days and are welcome to bring their pets. This is an alternative to psychiatric hospitalization, serving individuals with overwhelming feelings including those who feel so badly that they do not want to continue living. Guests are free to come and go. Some continue to go to work and stay overnight at Stepping Stone. Guests bring and cook their own food and can have 24-hour peer support available to them. Stepping Stone Crisis Respite Program creates an opportunity for people to learn from, and be supported in making the transition from crisis to wellness. Within the context of a mutually responsible relationship, and with the help of consumer staff’s experiential knowledge and training, those who sincerely wish to overcome their difficulties can greatly reduce the use of more restrictive hospital settings, including involuntary admissions. All services are free to New Hampshire residents.



Website: www.secondstoryhouse.org
Visit 2nd Story's facebook page at www.facebook.com/2ndStoryRespite#!/2ndStoryRespite
Phone: 831-466-0967

2nd Story is a Peer Run Respite House designed to complement the services of other more traditional services in Santa Cruz County, CA; and to provide an alternative for people who are in distress and hoping to avoid a crisis and/or hospitalization. Founded in March 2011, we are funded with a five year SAMHSA Transformation grant that contains a research component to study the efficacy of Intentional Peer Support. Our staff has been trained in Intentional Peer Support with the aim to create a setting based on trauma informed principles. We are located in a convenient neighborhood, offer a comfortable home-like environment, and encourage people to share in household tasks. We have a maximum stay of 14 days and can accommodate up to 8 people. We are staffed 24 hours a day with the hope of creating open and trusting conversations that explore such questions as, "how did we get here?" and "what might we look like going forward?"


Website: www.sweetser.org/peers.aspx
Location: 174 Mere Point Road, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Phone: 207-373-4273
Contact: Ron Welch
Funded by Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Sweeter’ Endowment and Mid Coast United Way.

Established in 2002, Peer Crisis Respite services are available to individuals who are experiencing a period of intensified emotional distress. Support is provided in one of three beds at Maine’s only Peer Crisis Respite program. Peer Support Specialist utilize the principles of Recovery and Intentional Peer Support to support the guest who is experiencing a mental health crisis to resolve the crisis situation; to assist the individual to view the crisis as an opportunity for growth, change, and transformation; to consider proactive ways for the individual to manage future crises. Volunteers and community participants are also available during the hours the Learning & Recovery Center is open to engage in mutual conversations centered on Recovery and personal growth. Programs offered include recovery focused groups and art groups. Staff are paid Certified Peer Support Specialist with a history as a consumer of mental health services and recovery work, using an Intentional Peer Support model based on the work of Shery Mead, www.mentalhealthpeers.com. Warmline: 866-771-WARM (9276) - Local crisis number: 800-400-2506.