Unlocking The Gates (UTG) Peer Health Mentoring Program


The Unlocking the Gates program has successfully transitioned to its own non-profit organization! The Unlocking the Gates Services Society offers support for people being released from prison in British Columbia. To connect with a Peer Health Mentor, please call Unlocking the Gates at the following numbers.

Hours: 9 am – 4 pm
Intake Number
: 604-518-3261
After-Hours Number: 778-938-2584
Website: https://www.unlockingthegates.org/

Project Funding: The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)

Project Period: 2014 – 2020

The CCPHE is partnering with the First Nations Health Authority on this community-based participatory peer-health mentoring project. The project seeks to support the reintegration of individuals who are leaving provincial correctional facilities in BC. The peer-health mentoring program works with community agencies inside the prison in order to connect with individuals inside prison during pre-release planning, and to offer systematic peer support and engagement during the immediate transition days following their release from prison. This support and outreach aims to assist transitioning individuals in accessing the health and social services they need to increase their chances of a successful reintegration. Examples of this support might include: meeting individuals at the prison gate, accompanying them to the welfare office or AA/NA meetings, assisting them in acquiring safe housing, clothing or a family doctor, etc.

The UTG peer health mentorship program is grounded in participatory processes and restorative and social justice principles by enhancing individual’s reintegration efforts through supportive relationships and encouraging community dialogue, collaboration and capacity building.