HRSA Training Grant

HRSA Training Grant

Breaking new ground

We are officially announcing the launch of a four year pilot program! Via Hope recently shared that we were awarded a federal Behavioral Health Education and Training Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Via Hope Peer Specialist Training Program will train and place certified peer specialists in non-traditional settings and create the first registered apprenticeship program for peer specialists in Texas, with an overall goal of improving health outcomes for people served in primary care, criminal justice, and homelessness service settings. 

Peer Specialist Experiential Learning Program

Over a period of 6 months, those who are selected for the experiential learning program will:

  • Take the Core training,  a prerequisite for MHPS, RSPS, and RPS certification
  • Take the training for Mental Health Peer Specialist, Recovery Support Peer Specialist, or ReEntry Peer Support certification 
  • Take five skill-building trainings 
  • Receive placement for their 250 field hours to complete certification, which includes a stipend 
  • Have an opportunity to advance to a year-long stipend apprenticeship position

Partner Site locations

Field hours will take place in one of the following locations: 

Supervision provided by:

  • Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA) – Dallas, Texas
  • Austin Area Mental Health Consumers – Austin, TX


Applicants are required to:

  • Have lived experience in mental health, substance use, and/or incarceration. Lived experience with homelessness is also required for the Texas Homeless Network placement.
  • Attend virtual orientation on Monday, November 8, 2021, 9:00-4:00 CST
  • Commit to attending all trainings
  • Complete 250 field hours over 6 months 


Via Hope HRSA Staff:  

Dr. Sandra Smith, Program Director

Christina Carney, Program Coordinator

Candyce Eskew, Program Associate 

Application Deadline October 8, 2021 Apply to HRSA Program Here


Have more questions? Check out the Via Hope Peer Specialist Training Program FAQ here

You can also reach out to Christina at or Candyce at