What is the Peer Volunteer Program?

The Peer Volunteer Program is a collaborative effort between Los Angeles Departmtent of Water and Power (LADWP) and IBEW Local 18. The program was designed to provide an additional way for employees and their families to access help for chemical dependency. Although the program is administered by the Joint Safety Institute and the Employee Assistance Program, it is completely separate from the EAP and other programs.

Who are the Peer Volunteers?

The Peer Volunteers are LADWP employees who are either in recovery or who have a loved one who is in recovery.  They each have at least two years of sobriety, and many Peers have 10+ years clean and sober.  The Peers have come together in their sobriety to assist others who also have a desire to become clean and sober.  Each Peer has been trained by the Employee Assistance Program and has a working knowledge of the substance abuse treatment facilities in their respective territories and that are also covered by the company’s insurance.  The peers are not licensed mental health professionals, but have access to one if needed.  They are available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  All have personally experienced the judgment, shame and guilt that come with a drinking or drug problem.  They are here to help.

Who is eligible to call a Peer Volunteer?

LADWP employees and their family members (or dependents) are eligible. The services are available to both union-represented and non-union represented employees. You may call a Peer as often or as many times as you like. Most people find it convenient to call a Peer Volunteer who is located in an area close to their home or work. Peer Volunteers are also available to speak with family members who are seeking support in coping with a loved one’s addiction.

Does it cost anything to call?

No, the service is free for LADWP employees and their dependents. The Peer Volunteers are not paid for their efforts, but are allowed to assist others during their work hours.

Is it confidential?

Yes.  The Peer Volunteers will not share your information with anyone else without your permission, including other Peers.

How can LADWP management support the Peer Volunteer Program?

LADWP management can support the Peer Volunteer Program by allowing Peer Volunteers to conduct presentations at their tailboard and safety meetings, and by posting Peer Volunteer announcements or posters. They can also encourage qualified employees to volunteer as Peer Volunteers.

What are the requirements to become a Peer Volunteer?

  • Two or more years of recovery from alcohol and/or drug addiction or recovery as a family member of an alcoholic/addict.
  • Current involvement in recovery is desired, but not required.
  • An individual must break his or her personal anonymity to qualify as a Peer Volunteer. A Peer acknowledges that his/her anonymity will be breached within the workplace; that his/her name will be printed on posters that are placed on bulletin boards at LADWP locations; and the volunteer’s information and picture will also be available on the Peer Volunteer website.
  • Satisfactory completion of an interview process.
  • A current, valid California driver’s license.
  • Attendance at an initial six-hour training session and one meeting per quarter.
  • Maintenance of good performance in his or her job at LADWP.
  • The ability to give and receive honest feedback.
  • Commitment of a minimum of one year to the Peer Volunteer Program is desired.

If you have questions or comments, or wish to explore becoming a Peer Volunteer, please contact:

Joalla Gold, LCSW
PVP EAP Counselor
213/840-5386 (cell); 213/367-3562 (office)
Jeff King
PVP Program Manager (JSI)
213/792-8853 (cell); 818/771/4676 (office)