Funding opportunity: Community-based organizations engaging in peer programming for HIV, HCV, mental health and substance use services

Provincial Health Services Authority Funding Guidelines


Community-based organizations engaging in peer programming for HIV, HCV, mental health & substance use services (2022/23 – 2023/24)

Total amount available: $835,000/year for 2 years


Engaging people with lived experience at various levels of programming, practice and policy is critical to strengthening the response to HIV, Hepatitis C, and the overdose epidemic. Peer engagement can support more effective and acceptable service delivery, and community-based organizations (CBOs) are uniquely positioned to engage peers and administer peer programming.

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is offering funding for CBOs in British Columbia to support peer programs and positions that focus on mental health & substance use, harm reduction, HIV and/or Hepatitis C. This low-barrier, two-year funding opportunity is intended to support organizations or programs from across the province who engage peers, with a scope that may include:

  • Peer-led programming & planning (ie. advocacy, outreach, prevention, stigma reduction, training, mentorship etc)
  • Direct one to one peer support, support groups, or peer navigation;
  • Peer facilitated STBBI testing with linkage to care
  • Peer overdose prevention witnessing, compassion clubs, and overdose response;
  • Capacity-building or policy work for and that meaningfully includes peers

Peers can be defined as people who have lived experience of stigma or oppression, which can take many forms, including but not limited to substance use, homelessness, HIV, Hepatitis C, poverty, and or/sex work, who are considered experts and use their lived experience to inform their professional work.


  • Funds are for fiscal years 2022/23 and 2023/24
  • The maximum amount awarded per application is $50,000 per year or $100,000 over two fiscal years. There is no minimum amount per application.
  • Organizations can apply for any annual amount up to or including $50,000 per year
  • Funding will be distributed equitably across health regions. Indigenous-led organizations or programs will be prioritized, but is not a requirement for funding.
  • Funding is for community-based organizations only; academic institutions or health authorities are not eligible for funding
  • Funding can be used to fund peers into paid positions, as well as honoraria or stipends
  • Honorarium amounts should be justified and align with the scope of the work being performed, a living wage, and the BCCDC Peer Payment Standard Best Practices. We recognize honoraria amounts can vary particularly in smaller, rural, and remote communities.
  • Adopts best practices for engaging peers such as those described in BCCDC’s Peer Engagement Principles and Best Practices, PAN’s Policies and Procedures Concerning Peer Workers, or Interior Health’s Support Toolkit for People Living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C.
  • A corporate bank account is required
  • Only one application per organization is permitted
  • Reporting on the spending and impact of this funding must be provided to PHSA annually. Reporting templates will be provided to successful applicants
  • Any questions about the process should be directed to [email protected]


Questions and Answers

Updates, questions and answers will be shared via this post.

Question: Is this funding available for on-reserve organizations?
Answer: Yes. The criteria described in the funding details must still be met for all organizations, including those on-reserve.

Question: Can unspent funds from one year be carried over to the following year?
Answer: All funds must be spent in the fiscal year that they are awarded in. Funds cannot be carried over to the next year.



  • Applications due: Monday May 9, 2022
  • Funding decisions communicated will be communicated by the end of June.


Application and Review Process


Applications can be submitted at the following link:

Applications should be submitted online using the survey link provided. A paper-based application form will also be accepted if requestedPlease reach out to [email protected] to access the paper application form

Applications must be submitted by Monday May 9, 2022 at 11:59 PM


Evaluation of Applications

  • Applications will be reviewed by a review panel – each panel includes at least six people, including four people with lived or living experience
  • Applications are considered confidential and all reviewers will be required to sign a confidentiality form
  • Applications will be evaluated using the criteria included below. Geographic equity across health regions will be considered. Applications that fall outside of the scope of these guidelines will not be considered.


Evaluation Criteria

Program/Services Plan

  • Clearly identifies need for the proposed initiative
  • Similar/existing programs are not sufficiently meeting needs of the population
  • Proposed initiative includes meaningful engagement with population it aims to serve
  • Implementation plan is feasible and reasonable within budget
  • Proposed peer payments meet Peer Payment Standards. If not, justification is provided.



  • Indigenous led and/or developed from Indigenous values, culture and tradition
  • Demonstrates competency in providing culturally safe services. PHSA defines culturally safe care based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the healthcare system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe.
  • Adopts best practices for engaging peers, including appropriate support and safety for peers
  • Does not have other sources of funding that could be used for the proposed work, or does not have stable/regular operational funding


Potential Impact

  • Initiative will benefit underserved populations
  • Positive impact on communities and/or to individual well-being is clear as it relates to HIV, HCV, and/or overdose
  • Initiative is pre-existing or with long-standing relationships, sustainable, or can continue to serve population past the funding period