A journey and a destination. Recovery happens here!

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in." – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the unusual things about us is that we don’t exactly fit perfectly into any particular category. We do offer support groups for our associates (our name for the individuals using our services) with mental health concerns and groups for our folks with trauma and addiction concerns. So, does that mean we belong in mental health services or addiction services? So far, trauma services isn't an option by itself, let alone part of another whole.

Our mission statement clarifies that we are a place “…where individuals receive respect, encouragement, and hope that supports and strengthens their recovery in mental health, addictions and trauma.” Our approach, quite simply, is to meet people where they are and welcome everyone who talks through our doors.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream was for everyone to be equal, including having equal access to the things they needed to be happy and to be well. Throughout his life, he spoke to the idea that kindness for one was kindness for all. His famous quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” resonates with us here at The P.E.E.R. Center. We feel strongly that when one of us achieves, we all achieve. We are all linked, for better, for worse.

We didn't invent the model of welcoming all people and treating them with dignity, respect, and compassion. We haven’t even perfected it. Every day, we keep our minds open and listen to the people we serve, and through that partnership, we change and grow. We give people what they need and help them achieve their goals.

We are proud that we don’t fit into a single category, because people don’t fit into a single category. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this and spent his life showing us the power of loving each other. We don’t claim to have all the answers to the issues our society faces, but we are proud that we are willing to play our role and to set an example that caring for our fellow humans lifts us all up.

In this article we explain why The P.E.E.R. Center is proud to continue the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Our Number One Recovery Accomplishment in 2014

Last week’s blog post was titled, “Top 10 Accomplishments 2014: Recovery Year in Review.” It covered nine of the top ten accomplishments of The P.E.E.R. Center for the year. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to do so. As promised in that article, here is the number one accomplishment for 2014.

Number One Recovery Accomplishment

1. Served More Than 75,000 Cups of Coffee

Our Number One Recovery Accomplishment in 2014Everyone is not only welcome at The P.E.E.R. Center, they are also welcome to a free cup of coffee. And a second, and a third, and so forth. During our business hours of operation, coffee is almost always brewing and available.

We consider this to be our number one accomplishment because it is an icebreaker, it is a gesture of good will, and a great way to greet people — especially new people who don’t know what to expect. It isn’t an easy thing to keep up with, but the benefits to the people we serve is unquestionable.

On average, we brew around 25 pots of coffee a day (across two centers, PEER East and PEER West), and that number can climb to well past 40 or 50 pots when the weather is very cold and during days when we have a lot of traffic. Each pot of coffee produces eight cups of joe, so on the average day, we hand out roughly 200 cups of coffee to anyone who asks. We include the coffee fixings, too, including cream, sugar, and low-calorie sweetener.

Does Coffee Help With Recovery?

You might be asking yourself why we choose to brew over 9,100 pots of coffee each year. The answer is pretty straightforward: People like coffee and we like people. And it isn't just coffee! While the numbers aren't as impressive, we also serve tea and hot chocolate.

We consider The P.E.E.R. Center and its visitors to be a community and we welcome everyone who enters our doors. Coffee is the universal “sit and stay for a while” beverage and that is exactly how we want everyone to feel. So the next time you are near one of our drop-in centers, stop in and say hello. We’ll put a pot on for you. Or two.


Does The P.E.E.R. Center Accept Coffee Donations?

We sure do! Feel free to drop off any unopened/sealed coffee to either one of our locations or contact us to make arrangements.

Not in Columbus, Ohio? No worries! Contact Gabe Howard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a donation. We appreciate all that you do for us!


Our Number One Recovery Accomplishment in 2014
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Top 10 Accomplishments 2014: Recovery Year in Review

Another year has come and gone and we at The P.E.E.R. Center have had a fantastic 2014. We have continued to help people in our community reach recovery and, as always, welcome everyone who enters our doors.

Deciding the top 10 accomplishments wasn’t easy. There were amazing accomplishments that had to be left off the list. We had employees win prestigious awards, associates who celebrated recovery milestones, and we were able to support an astonishing number of people.

Stay with us in 2015 as The P.E.E.R. Center continues to help the people in our community reach their recovery goals. Without further ado . . .

Recovery Year in Review Top 10 List

10. Increased Social Media Presence and Digital Outreach

People increasingly get their information and news online and follow organizations they care about in the same way. For the first time in our history, our Facebook Page has over 500 likes and our e-mail list continues to grow. In 2015, we will be increasing our blog posts as well.

If you are not on our e-mail list, please sign up here!

To like us on Facebook please click here!

9. Started the PEERHugs Program

It is a simple premise, if you think about it. Take comfort and/or hygiene items and place them in a bag. Distribute the bags to people in need.

We had a lot of support from the employees of The P.E.E.R. Center and hope to grow the program by involving community groups, churches, etc. in the future. As of this writing, we handed out well over 3,000 items, including washcloths, bars of soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, and anti-bacterial hand wash.

8. First Full Year of Operations for PEER West

In December of 2013, we opened a location on West Broad Street in the Franklinton area. This location has quickly become a community staple, serving an average of 40 people per day. PEER West is open seven days a week from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Stop by and see us!

7. Record Number of Outreach Activities

The P.E.E.R. Center was active in our community this year. In addition to hosting our first fundraiser and conference (See #2), we participated in police officer training through the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program, have associates who serve on community boards, and attended numerous health fairs and other community events.

We were even featured in the news, bringing us to . . .

6. The P.E.E.R. Center Featured on WBNS Channel 10 News

Being mentioned on the local news is a powerful thing. Getting your name and message out to the community has immense value and there is the added bonus of having a professional video and/or news story to share with people unfamiliar with the organization.

This year, we were featured on the six o’clock news in a two-minutes, 30-second segment. Please watch the video by clicking here.

5. Celebration is Part of Recovery

Recovery Top TenThere is a lot of hard work when it comes to recovery. Doing the hard things is what leads to long-term success. But it is important that we take time to focus on other areas of people’s lives.

This year, The P.E.E.R. Center hosted 24 birthday celebrations, one for each center per month. We served cake, fruit, and drinks, and sang Happy Birthday to everyone who had a birthday that month.

(Honorable Mention: We also hosted a Thanksgiving meal, as well as a holiday meal on Christmas Day.)

4. Partnered with Outside Community Groups

The P.E.E.R. Center is proud to work with outside groups to offer resources such as wellness checks, job placement, flu shots, and the like. Partnering with other community groups allows us to serve our associates in a fiscally responsible fashion, without having to reinvent the wheel.

3. Impressive Number of People Served

The P.E.E.R. Center is a drop-in center and everyone is welcome. Everything we do for the community is free, and we take great pride in that. In 2014, we had over 14,000 support visits at PEER West, 28,000 support visits at PEER East, totaling over 42,000 support visits during the past year.

On average PEER West hosts 40 people per day, and PEER East hosts 75 people per day. Our doors are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

2. EEOW! First Annual Fundraiser and Hosted First Recovery Conference

EEOW! is a funny word that stands for Exciting and Energizing October Weekend. The three events, held over two days, contained a free, one-day conference; an evening fundraiser; and our third annual recovery celebration.

The conference featured breakout sessions hosted by BlackMen Speak and Dr. E, as well as a panel discussion that included Dr. E, BlackMen Speak, Gabe Howard, and Liz Schindler – all moderated by our executive director, Juliet Dorris-Williams.

The Fundraiser featured the vocal stylings of Priscilla Woodson and a moving speech by Joe Anderson of BlackMen Speak.

The number 1 item on our "Top 10 Accomplishments 2014: Recovery Year in Review"

Tune in next week for an entire article based on our number one accomplishment. You’ll be impressed, we promise!
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The Similarities that Connect Us All

The P.E.E.R. Center December 2014

 The Similarities that Connect Us All

Welcome to December, everyone. In central Ohio, the weather is getting colder and warmer and colder again, letting us know that fall is heading out and winter is setting in. The thoughts around the Center turn to holiday parties, keeping warm, and everything becomes a little more festive while the outside world becomes a little more tolerant.

We at The P.E.E.R. Center believe we embody the spirit of this season every day. We believe that everyone is valuable and that respecting our differences is one way we can all be the same. We all have values, traditions, and people we hold dear.
December has over 20 different holidays that people around the world celebrate. No matter what day or customs you hold dear, we all value something. It is in these moments that we find the similarities that connect us all.


PEERHugs -- A Different Way To Give Back This Winter

The PEER Center

This holiday season, The P.E.E.R. Center would like to introduce you to PEERhugs -- a different way to give back. PEERhugs is a new effort we are implementing this year to extend our care to other areas of need. It consists of Coping Toolboxes, Hygiene Packs, and Warm Hug Kits, each serving a unique purpose for people in need.


  • A Coping Toolbox consists of items a person can use to help cope: a teddy bear, deck of cards, Koosh ball, crossword puzzles, scented candles, or blankets.


  • A Hygiene Pack consists of wash cloths, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, towels, and other hygiene related items.


  • A Warm Hug Kit consists of hats, gloves, mittens, blankets, and other items to help someone keep warm this winter.


This is a great project for a group of people and creativity is welcome. Kits are already being distributed by our agency to people in need, and we hope to keep going through the end of January.


For more information please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

December Holidays

Below is a list of December holidays. If you aren’t familiar with the traditions and would like to learn more, please use Google to explore the customs.

The Similarities that Connect Us All?
Nov. 30 – Dec. 24 - Advent
5 – St. Nicholas Day
8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
8 - Bodhi Day
12 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
14 - Monkey Day
16-24 - Hanukkah
21 - Winter Solstice
21 - Dong Zhi Festival
21-25 - Pancha Ganapati
23 - HumanLight
23 - Festivus
25 - Christmas
25 - Newtonmas
26 - Boxing Day
26 - January 1 - Kwanzaa
26 - Feast of St. Stephen/St. Stephen's Day (Western)
27 - Feast of St. Stephen/St. Stephen's Day (Eastern)
27 - Feast of St. John the Apostle/Evangelist
31 - New Year's Eve

Be sure to check out all of our December happenings on our calendar links throughout the site. Have a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season and we will see you in 2015!

Your Friends at The P.E.E.R. Center
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November 2014

The PEER Center has a great deal to be thankful for in this season of gratitude. We took lead on a regional conference, co-sponsored by our statewide peer advocacy agency. We extended ourselves by embarking upon an intentional fundraising season. We hosted our third annual recovery celebration. We were featured on a local news channel. All of these things occurred in a two month period of time, with the first three happening on one very intense weekend. What makes these events special for us is that we extended ourselves, we took risks, we took steps into an unknown future for the simple reason that the opportunities presented themselves. What makes these events extra special is that we are peers, also known as consumers, also known as people living with mental illness, people in addiction recovery, and people surviving trauma. Conventional wisdom says that people like us are sick and in need of care; we need someone else to make decisions for us; we need someone else to speak for us; we are fragile and can't handle stress or worse. Conventional wisdom hardly ever says that people like us are strong, capable, powerful and brave. So, on the other side of these giant STEPS into the future of our organization, we can say, because we know for sure, that we are strong, we are capable, we are powerful, we are brave, and we are peers.  

We are grateful for those who have supported us from the beginning. We are grateful for new supporters we have gained in the last few months. We are grateful for our fellow peers who let us walk along side them as they take small and large steps into their own powerful futures. We are grateful for our families and friends who support our commitment to this work.  We are grateful that we get to do this work, for us, by us. We are grateful for our community sponsors and partners. Together we have shed light on the power of peers. Together we have forwarded the cause of recovery. Together we will continue to embrace the possibilities of recovery and the hope that it engenders.

Be sure to check out all of our November happenings on our calendar links throughout the site.

The PEER Center wishes you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

In gratitude and wellness~

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