EVOLVE provides Peer Support Services that make room for personal growth by honoring the unique worldview and self-determination of each person served. 

Like the butterfly I have the strength and the hope to believe that in time I will emerge from my cocoon…transformed.


MHAAO offers peer support services in the greater Portland area. Please note that only the EVOLVE Clackamas has an open referral system. To submit a referral, please download the referral form and email the completed form to referrals@mhaoforegon.org.

For more information regarding our Peer Support Services, please contact our office at 503-922-2377, or email evolveinfo@mhaoforegon.org. Our referral form can be found below.



Peer Support is a peer recovery practice involving listening, mutual learning, respect and hope. Peer Support happens when someone who has been there comes alongside a person to listen and accompany them, providing connection and context for each person's unique recovery journey. 

Those who provide authentic peer support believe in recovery and work to promote these values: 

  • Recovery is a choice

  • Recovery is unique to the individual

  • Recovery is a journey, not a destination

  • Focusing on strengths allows a person to recognize their potential and to make new choices

  • Self-directed recovery is possible for everyone, with or without professional help (including the help of peer specialists or peer providers)

Healing and growing are natural. Let us walk along the way...


This contract offers the ability for EVOLVE peer support specialists/recovery mentors to serve a broad spectrum of the Clackamas County community. The eligibility criteria is low barrier and the only requirements are to reside in Clackamas County (housed or not) and have current, past, or a risk of addiction challenges. This program is community-based and the peer specialists meet individuals where they are most comfortable or where applicable. Focus areas of support are the Clackamas County Jail, Mental Health/Public Safety Court, Family Drug Court, DHS Child Welfare, and the Housing Authority of Clackamas County. We also provide two older adult peer specialist to serve individuals 55 and older. Connection to peer support is available by self-referral and community partner referral.

This contract provides two EVOLVE peer support specialists/recovery mentors to support individuals experiencing a mental health crisis resulting in contact with the Clackamas County Sherriff’s Office Behavioral Health Unity (CCSO BHU). Connection to a PSS/CRM is by referral only. This program is community-based and the peer specialists meet individuals where they are most comfortable or where applicable. Support will take place in various locations and environments including but not limited to hospitals, Riverstone Crisis Services, and other community settings. Connection to peer support is by referral only.

Two EVOLVE peer specialists/recovery mentors work as part of a multidisciplinary team of medical, addiction, and social work staff that serve individuals admitted into OHSU Hospital for medical crisis related to addiction challenges (ie: endocarditis, liver failure, etc.). The PSS work continues as people discharge and transition back into community and/or addiction treatment. Connection to peer support is by referral only via Project IMPACT.

An EVOLVE peer specialist works a part of a multidisciplinary team of medical, social work and addiction specialists that serves pregnant and postpartum women who struggle with addiction challenges both in a clinical setting and in the community. The peer specialist/recovery mentor is also available as a trained doula for birth support if the woman desires the additional support. Connection to peer support is by referral only via the Project Nurture team.

Two EVOLVE peer support specialists/recovery mentors work with individuals participating in mental health court and forensic diversion (community restoration-Aid & Assist) in both clinical and community settings. The peer specialists/recovery mentors are valuable members of the multidisciplinary Mental Health Court and Forensic Diversion Teams. Connection to peer support is by referral only via the Mental Health Court and Forensic Diversion teams.

This program is for individuals 18 years old or older who are in the first six months of recovery, or community re-entry from an institutional or residential setting. Individuals in Multnomah, Clackamas, or Washington County may be connected with an EVOLVE peer specialist/recovery mentor via referrals made through IMPACT NW or Washington Co. Access to Recovery (ATR). We are able to provide support for a pre-determined length of time.

One Peer Support Specialist (PSS)/Certified Recovery Mentor (CRM) offers housing retention and addiction and/ or co-occurring physical/mental health recovery peer support as a member of the JOIN Mobile Permanent Supportive Housing Team. The Mobile Permanent Supportive Housing Team will place and support up to 90 households in permanent supportive housing. Mobile Permanent Supportive Housing Team members are comprised of (but not limited to) staff from JOIN, CareOregon, Urban League of Portland, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, El Programa Hispano, Coalition of Community Health Clinics, and MHAAO. Connection to peer support is by referral only.

Two EVOLVE Peer Support Specialists (PSS)/Certified Recovery Mentors (CRM) provide mental health and/or co-occurring mental health and addiction recovery peer support to individuals residing in Washington County who are participating in the Choice Model program. Connection to peer support is by referral only via the Exceptional Needs Care Coordinators (ENCCs).
The PSS/CRM position is a member of the Choice Model exceptional need care coordination team to support people who are stepping down from inpatient psychiatric care and/or receiving psychiatric care in advance of hospitalization. A focus of support will be in regards to person-directed plans development. Referrals to peer support come from the Choice Model Team and will promote the availability and quality of individualized community-based services and supports so that adults with mental health concerns are served in the most independent environment possible and use of long-term institutional care is minimized.

One Peer Wellness Specialist (PWS)/Certified Recovery Mentor (CRM) works with a team of social workers to provide support to individuals in the Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah County area who are identified as calling 911 and utilizing emergency services as their primary source of healthcare. Referrals are made via the Tri-County 911 social work team. Outreach, engagement and peer support efforts are made by the PWS to referred individuals by going out into the community and meeting individuals where they are at (i.e. their home, a public setting, or in a hospital or other type community setting).