Where to Earn Your Hours
No VA

Northern Virginia

 

Where to Earn Your Experience Hours for PRS certification:

Here is a list of organizations in Northern Virginia that have expressed willingness to help peers earn the 500 hours of direct peer support experience necessary for certification. This list of organizations was developed thru research by members of the Region 2 committee of the Virginia Recovery Initiative (VRI). We encourage individuals to call the contacts listed in this document.

 

Download a PDF of these resources

(This document is current as of April 2021.)

Organization Name: Alexandria Dept of Community and Human Services

Contact Name: Melissa Johnson, Assistant Residential Services Coordinator

E-mail: Melissa.Johnson@alexandriava.gov

Phone: 703.746.3403

County: Alexandria City

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, there will be unpaid opportunities to provide in person 1:1’s and groups at residential group home for persons with mental illness or co-occurring (MH/SU) diagnoses. Apply by calling or emailing Melissa Johnson.

Organization Name: Alexandria Dept of Community and Human Services

Contact Name: Jonathan Teumer, Team Leader Mental Health Jail Services

E-mail: Jonathan.Teumer@alexandriava.gov

Phone: 703.746.5087

County: Alexandria City

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, there will be unpaid opportunities to provide in person 1:1’s and groups at Sober Living Unit and Critical Care unit of Alexandria Adult Detention Center. Apply by calling or emailing Jonathan Teumer.

Organization Name: Alexandria Dept of Community and Human Services

Contact Name: Krysta Pearce, Homeless Outreach Path Coordinator

E-mail: krysta.pearce@alexandriava.gov

Phone: Office: 703.746.5973   Work Cell: 703.283.8853

County: Alexandria City

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, there will be unpaid opportunities to provide in person 1:1’s, groups, and outreach with Homeless Services (PATH Program). Apply by calling or emailing Krysta Pearce.

Organization Name: Arlington County

E-mail: www.governmentjobs.com/careers/arlington/

Phone: 703-228-7499

County: Arlington

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

For vacant PRS positions: employment is contingent upon getting certified within 6 months (12 months for part-time). The 500 hours can be received on the job. No volunteer opportunities for 500 hours.

Organization Name: Arm and Arm

Contact Name: Kelvin Manurs

E-mail: info@ArmandArm.org

Phone: (571) 245-4568

County: Prince William

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

Arm and Arm has volunteer opportunities on Tuesdays and Fridays at their Manassas location.

Organization Name: Carpenters Shelter

Contact Name: Blair Copeland, Director

E-mail: BlairCopeland@Carpentersshelter.org

Phone: 703-548-7500

County: Alexandria City

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, there will be unpaid opportunities to provide in person 1:1’s, groups, and outreach at Carpenter’s Shelter. Apply by calling or emailing Blair Copeland.

Organization Name: Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

Contact Name: Cynthia Evans or Monique McPherson, Office of Individual and Family Affairs

E-mail: CSBOIFA@fairfaxcounty.gov

Phone: 703.207.7769

County: Fairfax

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) employs approximately 40 peer specialists. These positions require obtaining peer specialist training within 3 months of hire, and certification within 1 year. Full-time positions are highly competitive, and most applicants will already have certification.

Employment
These peer specialists work in wide variety of programs including Residential programs, Outpatient, Assertive Community Treatment, Emergency services, Jail-Based, among others.

Information on the peer support specialist job classification, including salary information and requirements is listed here: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/fairfaxcounty/classspecs/969801

Full-time (merit) positions openings are listed at: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/fairfaxcounty

Part-Time (non-merit) position openings are listed:
https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hr/non-merit-fairfax-county-jobs

These include positions working 30 hours/week with partial benefits, and 20 hours/week with no benefits

Volunteers
Currently, the CSB does not use peer support volunteers.

Academy
The CSB operates a Peer Specialist Academy about once per year (on hold during the pandemic). During this 4 – 6 month academy, peer specialists who have completed the training are employed in a paying role as a “peer specialist in residence.” This involves rotations at various peer support programs within the CSB, and extra mentorship and support. During this time, hours are collected toward certification. After graduation and receiving certification, many Academy residents are placed in peer support positions within the CSB. Job spec: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/fairfaxcounty/classspecs/1228163.

To learn more about peer support opportunities at the CSB, contact CSBOIFA@fairfaxcounty.gov

Organization Name: GMU- Empowered Communities Opioid Project -A grant project under Mason’s School of Nursing

Contact Name: Katrina King

E-mail: Kking27@gmu.edu

Phone: (571) 789-6876

County: Prince William

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

The project has unpaid internship opportunities providing peer support at the Mason and Partners clinics held around Northern Virginia.

Organization Name: Laurie Mitchell Empowerment & Career Center (LMECC)

Contact Name: Heather Peck

E-mail: Please contact: cavila@lmec.org

Phone: (703) 461-3886

County: Fairfax County

Briefly describe available peer support opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

LMECC delivers supervision enabling people to earn their 500 hours of Peer Recovery Specialist service delivery to employees only. (No volunteer opportunities for the 500 hours.)

Organization Name: NAMI National

Contact Name: Dawn Brown

E-mail: dbrown@nami.org

Phone: (703) 524-7600

County: Arlington

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

During an average shift, a volunteer can expect to help between 12 to 20 people with a wide variety of concerns and conditions.

Currently, all Helpline volunteers work remotely which requires a computer with a strong and stable Wi-Fi connection. Volunteers are either living with a mental health condition or they are a family member/caregiver. Shifts are M-F from 10 AM – 8 PM, ET. Information about the Helpline is available at www.nami.org/help.

There are several steps involved in becoming a Helpline volunteer:

  1. Reviewing the volunteer description, https://nami.applicantpro.com/jobs/1655112.html and willingness to commit to the 45 hours of training (30 independent, 15 with a coach).
  2. Completing the application located at the above link.
  3. Accepting an interview with a Helpline staff member.
  4. If both agree that volunteering is a good opportunity, completing the training and committing to one or more shifts per week.

Organization Name: NAMI Prince William

Contact Name: Patricia Victorson

E-mail: mvictors@verizon.net

County: Prince William

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

NAMI Prince William has volunteer opportunities. Currently they are positions that require training which happens once a year to lead support groups. They are considering other types of volunteer positions.

Organization Name: NAMI Virginia

Contact Name: Mary Beth Walsh, Director of Adult and Family Programs

E-mail: Mwalsh@namivirginia.org

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

NAMI Virginia provides a Peer Support Specialist Certification Guide that shares details of what NAMI offers to support Peers in obtaining needed experience hours for certification. Contact Mary Beth Walsh for details.

Organization Name: PRS, Inc.

Contact Name: Sally Starr

E-mail: Sally.starr@fairfaxcounty.gov

Phone: (571) 536-9009

County: Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

PRS, Inc, mostly hires individuals who are already a CPRS or on track to becoming one. A person can get the 500 hours while employed.

Organization Name: PWC CS

Contact Name: Ashley Rushing

E-mail: arushing@pwcgov.org

Phone: 571-235-6181

County: Prince William County

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

For vacant PRS positions: employment is contingent upon getting certified within 6 months. The 500 hours can be received on the job. Some positions are grant funded (temporary positions.)

Organization Name: Recovery Program Solutions of VA

Contact Name: Michelle Hurrell

E-mail: mhurrell@recoveryprograms.us

Phone: Main phone # (800) 374-4198; leave a message: “PRS seeking 500 hours/mentorship” referred to Michelle Hurrell

County: Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William

Briefly describe available opportunities (e.g., paid or unpaid, telework or onsite, how to apply, etc.):

Anyone from the region can volunteer for PRS hours at any of the following programs:

  • Arlington Peers Helping Peers in Recovery
  • Consumer Wellness Center
  • South County Recovery and Drop-In Center
  • Virtual Groups
  • Warm Line & Zoom Chat

The volunteers would go through an official background check and application process by HR. After together determining what program is a good fit, the volunteer would be connected to the respective Program Coordinator for that program for orientation, scheduling, training, etc.

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