In May of 1992, there were eight Compeer Programs operating in Pennsylvania with no state-wide funding and no consistent communication with one another. At that time, the PA Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) was contacted to help find a solution to keep these programs connected. Not only did OMHSAS provide a forum for the eight programs across PA to communicate on a regular basis, but also provided funding to host a state-wide conference to promote Compeer services to mental health stakeholders across PA.
The first state-wide conference was held at the Harrisburg Hilton in 1993 with over 100 people in attendance. The eight Compeer Programs told the Compeer story in an effort to replicate the program across the state. With that beginning, Compeer programs were offered the opportunity to meet for an annual retreat beginning in 1994. The group was also offered the opportunity to participate in quarterly conference calls. During one retreat, the group named itself the PA Compeer Coalition and the group was empowered by the establishment of this Coalition. The PCC applied for annual funding from OMHSAS and has been awarded this funding every year since the PCC formed.
Today, the PCC is stronger than ever and continues to be empowered through the work of the Coalition. The group continues to meet for an annual spring and a fall retreat, participates in regular conference calls, operates various work group and functions through a strategic plan. Affiliates support each other by sharing resources (such as grant proposals) and, when possible, by visiting other programs.