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Peer Navigation & Treatment Support

What is Peer Navigation and Why is it Important?

Peer navigation is all about one-on-one support, where people who've been through similar life experiences guide and support others in their journey. A peer navigator is someone with lived experience having experienced substance use disorder within their own lives. In the context of harm reduction, our peer navigators play a crucial role in educating, supporting, and empowering those at risk or affected by substance use disorder, HIV/AIDS, and other barriers. They share firsthand knowledge and have expertise to connect individuals to various resources and support. 

How Do Peers Support our Community?

Peers in our program do important work for our community. The role involves developing plans to find at-risk individuals, perform outreach activities to engage communities, and creating personalized interventions to help aid clients in accessing the services they need. They reach out to individuals who engage in high-risk behaviors including those who may have suffered an overdose, offering harm reduction supplies and resources. Peer navigators are advocates; providing education, support, and help to bridge the gap to treatment and recovery options. Respect and empathy in these interactions is crucial to stopping stigma and providing connection based on care and compassion.

Outreach activities are constantly changing to meet people where they are. You can find us in the community at:

  • Walking outreach
  • Tabling events
  • Curbside care
  • Collaboration with community partners

How Do I Connect with a Peer for Support?

Our peer navigators are here to help individuals facing challenges by developing trusting relationships and offering support. Peers are understanding and respectful. They have a working knowledge of community services, including substance use treatment, housing, and mental health resources. Peers work with service providers to link clients to medical care and social support options. They use their skills to create client-centered plans by meeting people where they are with the help they need. 

To connect with an Erie County Peer Navigator:

Contact the Office of Harm Reduction by phone 716-858-7695, Ext 4 or email


Go to a Community Outreach Site:

  • Visit us weekly at the following locations (weather permitting) where we provide free health services, supplies and support in different locations around the county.    
Day Address Time
Tuesdays Friends of the Night People, 394 Hudson St, Buffalo, NY 14201  9am - 11am
  158 Pearl St, Buffalo, NY 14202 (Behind the Rath Building) 11am - 2pm
Thursdays St Lukes, 325 Walden Ave, Buffalo NY 14211 10am - 12pm
  St John Kanty, 101 Swinburne St, Buffalo NY 14212  12pm - 3:30pm
  Niagara St  2pm - 4pm
Fridays Main & Utica 10am - 12pm
  West Side (Grant & Ferry)  1pm - 3:30pm
  Niagara St   2pm - 4pm

opiate hotlineWhat Other Support is Available?

We have a variety of other resources available to get you connected with the treatment you need:

  • 24 hour Addiction Hotline 716-831-7007 - Get immediate help, education, information, referrals and assistance  with linking to addiction treatment services (Hotline Flyer - Please post to help inform others) 
  • 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: Call 716-834-3131
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline: Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • WNY Opioid Addiction Treatment 24/7 Virtual Care: Call 716-463-6222
  • BestSelf Recovery Community Events: Upcoming Events - Friends of Recovery
  • Erie Path App

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