New ‘peer-based’ Boise substance abuse and mental health center to open June 25

Peer Wellness Center, a volunteer-based nonprofit recovery community center, will open June 25 at 963 S. Orchard St.

It is one of four recovery community centers scheduled to open in Idaho this year with startup funding from a Millennium Fund grant through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Idaho Association of Counties. Peer Wellness Center received $123,000 in startup grant funds, according to Terrence Sharrer, peer volunteer coordinator.

The center does not provide treatment or clinical services. It is a community support center that will be staffed almost entirely by volunteers who have themselves gone through recovery.

Peer Wellness Center will provide “peer-based” recovery services to patients with substance abuse and/or mental health disorders in Ada County. There are two paid employees, including Executive Director Monica Forbes. Forbes currently operates housing in Ontario for people with developmental disabilities and provides training for people in recovery, Sharrer said.

The center will offer:

•  Support groups.

•  Mentoring and coaching.

•  Life-skills classes and workshops.

•  Tobacco cessation workshops and support.

•  Volunteering and community service opportunities.

•  Recovery-friendly social events and activities.

•  Help with accessing other community-support services.

Peer Wellness Center will have a grand opening celebration from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 25.

The center has already opened its doors, and 10 to 20 people have been coming through the center each day, according to Sharrer.

Sharrer is among the people who offer a “peer” perspective from recovery. He said he hasn’t had a drink or used drugs since 2005 and is in the social work program at Boise State University.