The Peer program was created to empower people with all sorts of disabilities to make positive life choices that enable them to thrive and maximize their potential through support and self-advocacy. It’s a big part of what we do at LIFTT.
The Peer program encourages people to experience healthy relationships, enjoy an inclusive community, and to live an unrestricted life that allows them to be independent, contribute to society, and thrive in their local municipalities unhindered or restricted.
Taking that first big step to living on your own with a disability can seem difficult, even daunting to the point that it may be out of reach. It’s easy to become intimidated, lost, and confused about where to go to take the next step. At LIFTT, we have the Peer advocacy group with mentors for one-on-one counseling, guidance, support, and advocacy.
All of our Peer mentors are trained and educated in the Independent Living Specialist Philosophy and bring their own personal life experiences to the table, which provides a bit more insight for others on how to pilot themselves through some turbulent situations.
Here are some of the basic Peer programs we currently offer:
- Weekly Online Peer Support Groups
- Monthly Social in the Community Room (board games, card games, video games, and snacks)
- Living Well in the Community classes
- Afternoon movies
- Seasonal online parties allow participants to socialize, network, and build relationships with others in the community
- We are always thinking of new activities to engage peers
- Healthy community living
- Healthy cooking class online
- Community awareness and more
Systems and Social Change Activities
- Montana IL Community Living Task Force
- Montana IL Transportation Task Force
- Montana IL Native American Task Force
- Montana IL Self Determination Task Force
- Montana IL Legislative Advocacy Committee
- Peer to Peer mentoring
- Referrals to community resources
- Assisting in finding accessible and affordable housing
- Aid in applying for Social Security and/or Social Security Disability Insurance
- Help to navigate Medicaid programs
- Personal care assistance enrollment
- Independent living skills
- Applying for employment
- Enrolling in college and other post-secondary educational opportunities
The Peer program works! A recent success story with a 17-year-old young man illustrates the Peer program. He came to LIFTT seeking assistance with finding a job, getting his driver’s license, and filling out job applications. His Peer mentor also referenced him to Vocational Rehab and assisted him with filling out several job applications, aided him with getting a learner permit and taught him how to schedule an appointment online. The Peer mentor also found him a job working for a family friend!