Evaluation of Howie the Harp Peer Specialist Training Program
Community Access is a nonprofit organization committed to helping individuals with mental health issues make the transition from shelters and institutions to independent living. The organization’s Howie the Harp Peer Specialist Training Program (HTH) helps individuals with serious mental illness and histories of homelessness and incarceration train to become peer specialists. As peer specialists, individuals use their experiences to assist others going through recovery. Given the changing healthcare landscape in New York, peer specialist training programs are in high demand. Community Access engaged a Capstone team to evaluate the HTH program. Specifically, the team created survey tools to measure the program’s effectiveness and its impact on HTH graduates and employers. The team also conducted a comparative analysis of similar peer programs around the country. Using the data collected through surveys, the comparative analysis, and a literature review, the Capstone team produced a detailed evaluation report and provided future recommendations for the program.