Navigating our advancing years can be challenging, even for those with a strong support network. Now, imagine crossing those same waters alone, without friends or family to turn to for support. Our Senior Peer Counseling program works to ensure no one faces the challenges of aging alone. Specially-trained volunteer counselors provide weekly visits to adults age 55+ to help manage transitions and life changes such as health concerns, mobility issues, caregiver needs, and grief. Special care is taken to connect participants with someone who shares similar life-experiences and perspectives, with programs offered in languages such as English, Mandarin, Spanish, and Tagalog, and to participants who identify as LGBTQ+.

How does it work?

After applying, participants are matched with a volunteer Peer Counselor who often shares a similar background, native language, and life experiences. Participants can choose to join a group session or request one-on-one counseling.

Individual counseling sessions take place weekly at a participant’s home or location of their choice (public park, community center, etc.). Group sessions are offered in a variety of languages in Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City, and the coastside.

Who qualifies?

Our Senior Peer Counseling program is open to adults age 55+ who live in San Mateo County and can benefit from the program.

Can I become a counselor?

To become a Senior Peer Counselor, volunteers participate in two, three and a half-hour training sessions each week for a total of five weeks. During the sessions, volunteers learn the skills they need to be active listeners, recognize and respond to grief, depression, and anxiety, and work with diverse cultures. Volunteers who speak Mandarin, Tagalog, or Spanish, or who identify as LGBTQ+, are encouraged to apply!

Prospective volunteer counselors should:

  • Be age 55+
  • Live in San Mateo County
  • Be a good listener
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be able to devote at least one hour a week to meet with a participant
  • Be able to attend monthly group supervision meetings

Volunteer applications are accepted year-round, with training sessions taking place in the Spring and in the Fall.

To become a Senior Peer Counselor, you can either fill out the Request for Application available online, or contact Geri Lustenberg via e-mail or via phone at (650) 403.43.00 Ext. 4389.

If you have any other questions, please contact Ann Blick Hamer, Senior Peer Counseling Program Manager, at 650.403.4300 ext. 4322 or by email.

Spring 2020 training dates: March 31 – April 29

If you are age 55+, you can change the lives of older adults in our community.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am – 12:30pm

24 Second Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94401

To register, please contact Geri Lustenberg
via e-mail or call (650) 403.43.00 Ext. 4389



We welcome all without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, age, language, abilities, sexual orientation, or gender.