What is Compeer?

The word Compeer means “friend,” “equal” or “peer”—not mental health professional, social worker, or care taker. Our mission is to use the power of volunteer friends to improve the lives of children and adults who are striving for good mental health.

Each person on the Compeer waitlist comes from different backgrounds, faces different challenges, and brings individual personality to their situation.

At Compeer, we believe friendship is powerful medicine! The consistent, caring relationships formed between volunteers and their friends foster a sense of belonging, trust, and self-esteem in the people referred to the program.

Compeer is the remarkable story of personal change brought about by the healing power of friendship.

Compeer’s purpose:

Promoting good mental health through meaningful friendships.


Compeer’s values:

Respect • Trust • Hope • Support • Empowerment


2018 Program Reports & Statistics on how we’re doing:



Founded in 1985, Compeer of Greater Buffalo began with the inspired belief that “friendship is powerful medicine”, as stated by Michele Brown who is the former Executive Director of Compeer, and founder of the Buffalo Compeer program. Originally under the auspices of Compeer International, which was founded in 1973 and  based in Rochester, New York, Compeer of Greater Buffalo experienced great success and was incorporated as a private, non-profit agency on July 1, 1994.

Serving Buffalo and all of Erie County, the Compeer Program matches volunteers and mentors in one-to-one friendships and mentoring relationships with children, adults, veterans and seniors striving for good mental health. Compeer friends and mentors come from every walk of life. Volunteers make a significant and proven impact on the lives of those they befriend by providing social support, being positive role models and helping engage their friend in a variety of different community/recreational activities. The ever-growing program currently has four different venues of volunteering: Compeer for Kids, Compeer for Adults, Compeer CORPS, and Compeer for Seniors.

Compeer continues to promote “recovery through the healing power of friendship.” Consider joining our group of amazing volunteers who make the difference each day and proudly claim their membership in the Compeer Family of Friends!

Join the Compeer family of volunteers and mentors today!