Position: Peer Specialist
Location: San Jose and Gilroy
Employment Type: Regular Full Time, Non-Exempt
Compensation: $25/hr (7am-3:30pm, 3pm-11:30am, 11pm-7:30am)
HomeFirst Services takes pride in its safety values, wellness of our team, and respect for everyone we serve. Due to this commitment, HomeFirst Services is mandating that all employees be vaccinated or render a religious or medical exemption effective September 13, 2021.
The Peer Specialist is an entry-level position that will join a team of clinicians, EMT’s, and rehabilitation specialists in San Jose and Gilroy. Multiples shifts available (7am-3:30pm, 3pm-11:30am, 11pm-7:30am). They will provide support and linkage to those individuals accessing mobile crisis support due to experiencing a mental health crisis in the community. Because our callers will come from different backgrounds, the Peer Specialist position is for someone who has lived experience navigating the homelessness systems and/or the various mental health, behavioral health, and criminal justice systems. The Peer Specialist must be comfortable sharing their experience with others and be able to balance their own recovery with helping others on their journey. The Peer Specialist will receive close supervision in best practices and techniques. Peer Specialists will be stationed at our call center in San Jose, providing support and triage over the phone. They will also be stationed in our outreach vans in San Jose and Gilroy, providing direct support to clients in the community.
- Answer crisis calls at the call center, and work alongside clinicians to provide support to the caller by triaging the call and linking the caller to the correct resources
- Document all services, progress notes, and phone call data in the Salesforce database
- Keep track of the schedules/locations of the outreach vans and dispatch them when they are needed to respond to an in-person crisis
- Provide telephone support to individuals calling about a crisis
- Provide referrals and linkage to individuals calling about a crisis
- Provide follow-up phone calls within 24 hours of a crisis
- Assist individuals in navigating the homelessness system and mental health system by making referrals such as to medical services, psychiatric services, community agencies and organizations, income benefits, emergency shelter, and basic needs.
- Engage and encourage support persons/families of the individuals to utilize community resources
- Provide professional support to individuals in a mentoring and one-to-one capacity, within the scope of the job
- Assist the multi-disciplinary team in identifying the strengths of the individual, and advocate for individuals’ needs in a strengths-based way
- Meet and consult with program staff and management to assist in assessing client needs
- Be cross-trained in both call center-based services and outreach-based services
- Provide transportation in the agency vehicle to community referrals for the individual
- A High School diploma, GED, or equivalent education required
- Personal and lived experience with homelessness and/or behavioral health required
Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge:
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and directions
- Demonstrate professionalism in the workplace
- Ability to communicate with and work as part of a small team
- Ability to remain calm in crisis and emergency situations, and to have empathy for those calling in a crisis
- Some knowledge of the challenges faced by the homeless population, and those suffering from behavioral health problems
- Work from a strength-based and harm reduction model
- Ability to work effectively with and provide equal support to individuals with different values, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and disabilities.
- Ability and desire to work collaboratively with those experiencing mental illness, substance abuse issues, homelessness, justice system issues, and to work with those who are considered high risk
- Knowledge of community resources, or ability to obtain knowledge about them
- Demonstrated ability to exhibit excellent customer service when interacting with individuals
- Able to perform sedentary work;
- Able to lift up to 30 lbs. on occasion;
- Ability to use keyboard and read computer screens for extended periods;
- Able to stand/sit for extended periods, kneel, reach and bend related to the completion of duties;
About HomeFirst Services:
Established in 1980, with 40+ years of experience, we are the premier Silicon Valley provider of homelessness services. We believe that everyone has the potential to get housed and stay housed. We relentlessly focus on eliminating barriers to housing and creating stability for everyone we serve.
HomeFirst Services serves more than 6,000 adults, veterans, families, and young adults each year at multiple locations from Gilroy to Menlo Park – all of Santa Clara County as well as southern San Mateo County.
- Homelessness prevention
- Emergency and cold-weather shelters
- Comprehensive Veterans’ Services
- Rapid Rehousing programs
- Bridge Housing Communities
- Emergency Interim Housing
- Affordable permanent housing
- Permanent Supportive housing
- Street-based outreach
Benefits of joining the HomeFirst team:
- Professional growth opportunities within the organization
- 100% medical coverage for employees with an opportunity to add dependents at a shared cost
- 401k match up to 4%
- 12 observed Holidays
- Generous PTO, accrual begins with 120 hours annually and increases with tenure
- 4 hours of Community Engagement are provided annually
- Access to our Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) services
- Pet Insurance options are available
HomeFirst Services is proud to be an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local law. Additionally, HomeFirst Services participates in the E-Verify program, as required by law.
HomeFirst Services is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please let your recruiter know.