Celebrating a New Chapter
New Narrative peer-run program Comfort Zone started the New Year off with a celebration, opened their new site to the public in Southwest Portland. This marks the first year for this program having a physical space to welcome peers since the pandemic began. Tigard Mayor Heidi Lueb and Washington County Crisis Team Program Director Rich Roell were distinguished guests for this event. “We are so excited for what is to come here at our new Comfort Zone!” proclaimed Mayor Lueb in her remarks, before cutting the ribbon held by attendees in a symbol of peer camaraderie. Nestled in a multi-room set of suites in the Scholl’s Business Center, this new location will act as a safe space where members of all communities facing mental health challenges will be supported. Guests enjoyed coffee and donuts while learning about the much-needed offerings this place provides. The new location includes three main areas which house a reading nook, a kitchen with shelves of snacks to share, and a larger-yet-cozy area with couches, a desk, and tables and chairs. Bright paintings line the wall, made by former peers from the program. There are also private offices and meeting spaces, as well as storage lockers for peers to be able to store belongings while at Comfort Zone.
About Comfort Zone
At Comfort Zone, people can join a community of peers in a friendly, safe, nonjudgmental space. Comfort Zone is a Peer Program focused on creating a safe space for members of all communities to feel supported. It is made up of specially trained Peer Wellness Specialists who have lived-experience in mental health challenges, trauma, and addiction, who can relate on a deeply personal level. This space offers one-to-one peer support, weekly wellness groups, support moving forward though housing, medical and the criminal justice system, or somewhere to simply exist while enjoying snacks and activities within the community.
Dahlton Burke, Program Manager noted, “We are very excited to begin welcoming members back in-person after a long hiatus from gatherings due to COVID. These services are highly requested and we can’t wait to receive members back at our new location.” In response to why this service is central to mental health support they added, “In order to step outside your comfort zone in your wellness journey, you first need to have a Comfort Zone.”
In order to step outside your comfort zone in your wellness journey, you first need to HAVE a Comfort Zone.
-Program Manager Dahlton Burke
Rich Roell, Program Director of longtime partner Washington County Crisis Team for the Hawthorne Walk-In Center—Lifeworks Northwest, shared, “Our community needs hope and relationship more than ever, and the re-opening of Comfort Zone offers exactly that. We know from our years-long partnership that this much-needed program not only helps folks find meaning in their lives…but saves lives as well! When so many of our neighbors are in despair and questioning if they belong anywhere, the connection & mutuality of Comfort Zone assures them they do. We are grateful for New Narrative making this resource available and our team looks forward to working together for a stronger and safer community. Welcome back!”
Learn more about Comfort Zone and its activities: check out the Peer Page of our website.