Peer Support Specialist –
BestCare Supportive Housing Program
Madras, Oregon

BestCare Treatment Services is recruiting for a Full-time Peer Support Specialist.

General Duties:  The Peer Support Specialist will provide housing assistance to individuals who have been determined eligible for the Direct Rental Assistance program at BestCare/Madras Outpatient Program.  The position includes outreach to individuals with serious mental illness who also have housing needs.  Responsibilities include: participant screening, eligibility determination, assisting with locating housing (state approved standards), program orientation, client transportation, community education, assisting clients to access entitlement programs (Pre-SSI/SSDI, Section 8, Public Assistance, health insurance), as well as assisting clients to maintain housing.  The position includes, but is not limited to direct interaction with clients for the purpose of accessing said resources, close coordination with the treatment team, and ongoing linkages with local and regional resources and social service networks.   

Title: Peer Support Specialist
Program: Supportive Housing Program
Program Location: Madras         
Supervisor: Residential Specialist; Program Director
Employment Status: Full Time
FLSA Classification: Non-Exempt
Employees Supervised: None
Language: Bi-Lingual Spanish/English strongly preferred

Education & Experience: Associate’s Degree, or equivalent relevant volunteer or employment experience.  Must have some familiarity with mentally ill population (including co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse and/or developmental disabilities).  Must have compassion for people with mental illnesses, co-occurring disorders, poverty and must be culturally sensitive and competent.  Simultaneously, must maintain healthy boundaries and the ability and willingness to be assertive when appropriate.

Duties:

  • Become familiar with the priority population (mentally ill with housing needs) and assist in the creation of an Eligibility Checklist and Screening/Intake paperwork. 
  • Meet with potential program participants to screen for eligibility, assess housing needs, benefits, and provide program orientation.
  • Create a checklist for housing options that comply with state requirements for approved rental units.  Remain abreast of local housing units that are available in the county.  Develop and maintain relationships with local landlords and property management companies.
  • Meet with program participants to assess housing needs, client income, and assist the client in exploring local housing options.  This includes assisting the client with rental unit searches, the application process, and barrier removal (ie: completing the Ready to Rent class offered by Housing Works of Central Oregon).
  • Create a Program Participant written agreement that includes participant’s financial responsibility and agreement to notify the Supportive Housing Program team if their income increases or decreases.  Agreement will include their commitment to pay 30% of their monthly rent.  Create a Release of Information for the participant’s landlord/property management company that will allow Supportive Housing Program staff to confer with them about rental status, payment issues, and sustainability. 
  • Network closely with the Mental health Treatment Team who will refer clients for housing and/or social services.  Keep the referring clinician apprised of progress.  Attend Mental Health Team meeting to share updates/progress reports.  Keep colleagues apprised of issues or barriers that exist with each case.
  • Provide Community Partner Outreach to educate potential referral sources about the Direct Rental Assistance Program.
  • Build a resource file with community resource access numbers and information. 
  • Maintain a spreadsheet that contains data including the number of clients screened, program participants, and housing information.  Spreadsheet will also include the state the participant is in, whether or not housing came to fruition, as well as the housing outcome, pre-SSI/SSDI process, Section 8 application process, other social services referrals made, and any other relevant information.
  • Once a program participant accesses housing, continued monitoring of the case and assistance with conflict resolution if the housing becomes jeopardized or terminates.  Track outcomes by keeping a client file that includes notes/progress and barriers.

Skills & Abilities:

  • Patience, empathy, understanding of and awareness of working with individuals with mental illness and co-occurring disorders.  Knowledge of alcohol and drug addiction and local resources, specifically housing and social services. 
  • Works well with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Works independently and reliably as a member of the Supportive Housing Program team as well as the greater mental health treatment team.
  • Networks with and provides linkages to various community resources. 
  • Possesses a willingness to provide advocacy for our clientele in order for them to access resources. 
  • Possesses a willingness to provide client transportation related to housing and social services and/or coordinates client transportation.

Tools and Equipment Used:

Must have competency using a computer for word-processing, database and internet usage to include experience with Word, Excel, and Outlook.  Must be able to operate typical office equipment including fax machine, scanner, copy machine, telephone, and projector. 

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing this job, the employee is regularly required to reach with hands and arms.  The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, and use hands to handle, feel, or operate objects or controls.  The employee is occasionally required to sit; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and talk and hear.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to twenty (20) pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust and focus.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Work environment is an office setting as well as travel to other organizations, schools, hospitals, community gathering places, etc. Travel within Madras, Warm Springs, Central Oregon and outside of Central Oregon required, must have reliable transportation.

The position requires the employee to dress in a professional manner that meets the standards for professional employees in Jefferson County.

To apply send cover letter, resume and three professional reference to careers@bestcaretreatment.org

 

 

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