Our Space and Accessibility

This is an accessibility review of our space, where you can find detailed information about accessing Peers. In solidarity with disability justice work, we hope this information will help to inform people about our space and what to expect while navigating our services.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this guide or accessibility questions/requests please contact: admin@peers.bc.ca or 250.388.5325 ext. 110

Thank you to the Radical Access Mapping Project for creating and maintaining their free audit template online at: https://radicalaccessiblecommunities.wordpress.com/

Location/Bus Routes
  • Peers is located at 744 Fairview Road in Esquimalt, BC.

 

  • We can be reached from within: 270 metres of bus #25 (Old Esquimalt Road stop), 400 metres of bus #24/26 (Lampson and Wurtele stop) and 550 metres of bus #15 (Esquimalt Road).
  • There are sidewalks and curb cut-outs from all bus routes, but we are in an industrial area with some unmarked crossings, speed bumps, storm drain grates, and some narrowed sidewalks from power lines.
  • BC Transit bus tickets are available, please ask staff during drop-in hours.

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Parking
  • There are four designated parking stalls in front of the building.
  • There is one marked accessibility stall on the far left, near the ramp to the door.
  • If all spaces are full, there are other unmarked spots in the parking lot that can be used.
  • We share a parking lot with other businesses, please avoid parking in reserved spaces.
  • There is no bike rack/parking yet, but folks often find creative spots to lock up outside.

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Animals & Children
  • Guide dogs are welcome!
  • People sometimes bring small non-guiding dogs into our space, we just ask that you keep an eye on them as we don’t offer pet-minding services.
  • There is water available and some limited space outside for dogs to be toileted.
  • We don’t control when animals can and can not be in the space, so if you have allergies, please be aware of this.
  • Children are welcome, but we do not offer childcare and there is no separate or designated space or activities for kids.
  • There are no changing tables in our washrooms currently.

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Financials & Documentation (once you’re here)
  • Peers services are free for current and former sex workers. This includes free lunch during drop-in hours.
  • No identification is required.
  • No proof of address or citizenship is required.

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Drugs & Alcohol
  • Peers recognizes that substance use is widespread, and discrimination against substance users is equally widespread. Peers is committed to a harm-reduction approach to substance use.
  • Participants are not required to be sober to access our services, and therefore we do not offer a substance-free space. We recognize that this environment is not ideal for everyone, and may act as a barrier to accessing our services for some folks.
  • We provide free or low cost harm reduction supplies to participants whenever needed and possible (e.g. new needles and syringes, cookers, filters, ties, sterile water, vitamin C, alcohol swabs, meth pipes, sharps containers, naloxone kits)

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Stuff/Resources/ “Things Peers Offers”
  • Food & Beverages
  • Peers serves free tea, coffee, and hot lunch during drop-in hours Monday-Thursday.
  • One meal option is made each day and ingredient lists can usually be shared if asked.
  • We rely on generous donations and volunteers for meals and are not able to accommodate dietary restrictions at this time.
  • There is always salad available and folks can bring their own food to eat here.
  • Wi-Fi/Computer (desktop with internet access and guest Wi-Fi available)
  • We offer free guest Wi-Fi, please ask staff or a volunteer for the password.
  • There are two desktop computers with internet access in the computer room for people to use during drop-in hours (Monday-Thursday 11:00am-2:30pm).
  • Our whole building uses Wi-Fi, and there are Rogers and Telus cell towers nearby.
  • There are two corded phones available for use on the main floor, one near the kitchen and one beside the front desk. Neither have directories or TTY, but staff are available to help look up phone numbers and assist with volume control options.
  • Harm Reduction Supplies (condoms, lube, safer drug use supplies, etc…)
  • A variety of harm reduction supplies are available during drop-in hours (Monday – Thursday, 11:00am-2:30pm) and from the Night Outreach van (6:30-11:00pm daily).
  • We offer: condoms, gloves, lube, needles, crack kits, and water, plus tampons, pads, and other hygiene items upon request.

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Getting Inside/Entry: Ramps/Doors/Steps
  • The main entrance is under the bright red awning, visible from Fairview Rd.
  • The front doors can be accessed up 3 steps directly from the parking lot.
  • There is a concrete ramp from the parking lot to the front door on the left side.
  • The building awning partially covers the ramp overhead, and sometimes folks park their bikes to the side of the ramp, which can narrow it slightly.
  • Normally only one door is unlocked for drop-in hours, but both can be opened easily to allow access.
  • There is a covered smoking area to the right, when facing the building outside.

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Our Indoor Space
  • Stairs & Steps
  • All of the areas used for Drop-in programs are located on the main floor and can be accessed without stairs.
  • There is a flight of 15 carpeted stairs to get to the upstairs offices, if you have booked an appointment with someone in violence prevention, volunteering, administration, etc.
  • Seating: There are folding fabric armless chairs and metal chairs with armrests in the main room and meeting room, plus couches available in the computer room. Chairs can easily be moved to accommodate folks and make space.
  • Quiet Space: The main room can get busy and loud during drop-in hours (music, talking, etc.), but the computer room is often quieter and always available during drop-in hours.
  • Scents: Peers is not a scent-reduced space. We generously accept donations of household and personal items for the space and for clients, and these products are often scented. If you are sensitive to scents, please be aware that this is an uncontrolled space.
  • Lighting: The main room is lit by both natural light and fluorescent lighting. Washrooms, offices, and the computer room also use florescent lighting.

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Washrooms
  • There are 2, single stall/room, all genders washrooms for clients to use during drop-in hours. One is attached to the computer room and the other is attached to the front meeting room. The keys are available at the front desk!
  • Washrooms have soap (often scented) and sharps containers, plus free hygiene products are available in the donation room.
  • Currently none of the washrooms have automatic doors or support bars, and access is limited to the door frame width of 27”.
  • There are 2, single stall/room, all genders washrooms for staff and clients accessing upstairs services (1 upstairs, 1 downstairs).

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Blind and Low-Vision
  • Currently we do not have any signage or information provided with braille or raised tactile lettering.
  • Our main entrance is a manual door with a vertical grasp wing, and the front desk is immediately inside the doors and to the right.
  • Support people and animals are welcome to accompany those accessing services.
  • We are working to improve the accessibility of our website and space for those who are blind or have low-vision.

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Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Currently we do not offer audio assistance devices for our programs (TTY, ASL) and cannot guarantee that staff members with sign language abilities will be available.
  • Support people and interpreters are welcome to accompany those accessing services.
  • We are working to improve the accessibility of our space for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, including things like visual fire alarms.

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