About the SERLC
These principles apply to the RLC Resource Centers and Peer Respite and to any other workshops, trainings, classes, groups or individual interactions that occur under the RLC umbrella.
Our Core Values: Genuine Human Relationships, Self-Determination and Personal Strength, Mutuality, Optimism, Healing Environments and Respect
GENUINE HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
- The RLC is founded on our "humanness" and the importance of forming genuine connections with other human beings. This means that individuals in the RLC community will be encouraged to form connections with each other as develop naturally, and to use these connections to community as an opportunity to build or strengthen their natural support systems.
- The RLC community will respect the physical, sexual and personal boundaries of each member. This means that each member of the RLC community has the right to determine when he or she is going to be available to the RLC community, when he or she does or does not want to be hugged or touched in any way, and what sorts of relationships he or she wishes to engage in with others in the community.
- Imperfection in relationships is an expectation. The presence of these values does not mean that all interactions will be perfect or fully embody all values at all times. Rather, imperfection will be expected and--when bumps occur--we will work to see it as an opportunity for growth rather than a failure of the community.
SELF-DETERMINATION AND PERSONAL STRENGTH
- The RLC will not preach any one way of healing and will allow each person to define their own path to "recovery." This means that the RLC will offer education and information on a variety of perspectives, options and resources, but that RLC community members will always hold the power to determine their own goals, and to define for themselves the meaning of the word "recovery" as it applies to their own lives.
- The RLC Community will treat individuals as capable of setting guidelines for him or herself. Hence, the RLC will avoid setting too many "rules" and micromanaging situations and relationships because we believe in each individual's strength and wisdom to make his or her own choices, express his or her own likes and dislikes and identify his or her own needs without the overuse of rules and guidelines to dictate that process.
- There are no "service providers" and "service recipients" in the RLC community. It is assumed that all individuals who come to the RLC for support will also give support to another at some point, and that each individual will not only approach the RLC with the attitude of what he or she can get but also what he or she can give.
- We are not nor do we strive to be "clinical" workers. The RLC is a community of people supporting people who have been through similar struggles, all on equal ground. We will not attempt to act as therapists or clinicians. We will be "professionals" in peer support, and above all else, in regards to the expertise that we have about ourselves.
- We are all leaders in the RLC community. This does not mean that each person must necessarily take turns at facilitating meetings, organizing campaigns or being the point person for a given activity. What it means is that as each of us empowers ourselves to move, question, change, act and be hopeful we thereby (intentionally or not) inspire others in our community to do the same--and then we are leaders.
- The RLC believes that recovery is probable for all individuals. This means that all individuals will be welcomed in to the RLC community and treated with the belief that they have the power and ability to achieve their hopes and dreams.
- The RLC will show compassion to those who are struggling. This means that the RLC community recognizes that all individuals have ups and downs, and moments when they may "relapse" or need to step away from the community, but that the community will reach out to them in times of need and always welcome them back with open arms and without judgment.
- Individuals within the RLC Community will respect each other's privacy. This includes holding confidentiality around information shared within RLC spaces and supporting one another to define how and when information can be shared in a respectful manner and in a way that builds community.
- The RLC strives to make all spaces accessible to all. This includes (but is not limited to) avoiding the use of scented products as much as possible, using wheelchair accessible spaces, and scheduling interpreters and groups in other languages.
- The RLC is trauma-sensitive and strives to create safe spaces and opportunities for connection. This means avoiding smelling of alcohol or drugs or being visibly intoxicated or high, or bringing alcohol, drugs or drug paraphernalia into RLC spaces or activities. This also may mean walking someone to their car when it's dark out, being conscious of tone and body language, and creating shared agreements and expectations to address community needs as they arise.
- The RLC uses non-violent conflict resolution. It is anticipated that any individuals in the RLC community who have a conflict with one another will address the conflict directly to the relevant individuals whenever possible, without the use of yelling, gossiping or physical aggression, and that individuals in general will be open to talking through conflicts with one another.
- Above all else, the RLC expects each individual to treat others as he or she would wish to be treated. This means treating ourselves, each other and each other's belongings with respect, compassion and kindness at all times.
- The RLC aspires to use the most inclusive and respectful language at all times. Everyone will be encouraged to use open, person-first, strengths-based language and to avoid using one-word labels when referring to others in the recovery community.
- The RLC encourages shows of gratitude and appreciation for all other members of the community. Individuals are encouraged to go out of their way whenever possible to thank others for their contributions, including those with whom they might not always get along.
- The RLC community will respect all differences of opinion, beliefs, culture, appearances and ways of life. This means treating everyone with dignity, respect and as a valued individual, as well as encouraging learning, openness and conversations about different beliefs and cultures. We will not ostracize or put down any individual based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, size or other aspect of their appearance, religious beliefs and so on.