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Counselor, Runaway and Homeless Youth

RHY | Royal Oak, MI | Full Time

Job Description

Title: RHY Counselor

About Lighthouse

Lighthouse MI is a growing non-profit, established in 2019 when Lighthouse of Oakland County and South Oakland Shelter joined forces to offer a stronger collective response to poverty in our Metro Detroit community. With over 80 years of combined experience, Lighthouse serves as a beacon of hope to our neighbors who need it most by offering assistance with basic emergency needs alongside housing programs and supportive services designed to support long-term economic stability. Lighthouse owns and operates Spero Housing Group, a subsidiary non-profit dedicated specifically to developing and operating high quality affordable, supportive housing for persons of low and moderate-income, and HandUp, a community and crowdfunding platform serving 100+ homeless service agencies and their clients across the United States.

Position Summary

The Counselor is an at-will position that reports to the Program Manager. This position will work within the Sanctuary, A Step Forward, and the Graduated Apartment Program, collectively known as the Runaway Homeless Youth (RHY) programs, supporting the clients and operations of each program. Sanctuary is an intensive 3-week crisis intervention program; A Step Forward (ASF) is a two-year transitional living program; and Graduated Apartment Program (GAP) is a two-year scattered-site transitional housing program. This position will perform family, group, and individual counseling. The Counselor will also participate in treatment planning, educational training, consultation, community and court advocacy, aftercare, and follow-up referrals. Services will be geared toward youth ages 10-24 and help them develop behavioral, emotional, and coping skills; identify and process trauma; and build healthy relationships.

Responsibilities & Duties

  • Provide individual, family, group, and conjoint counseling to assigned individuals. Expected to provide services for up to 25 individuals at a time in the Basic Center, ASF, GAP, and Outpatient programs.

  • Provide intensive case management for youth participating in the Sanctuary program.

  • Develop an individualized plan of service in conjunction with the individual, the family (when appropriate), and team for Sanctuary and ASF clients.

  • Work in tandem with staff to support 24-hour intervention with assigned individuals.

  • Complete all paperwork as required by regulatory bodies and contractual agreements.

  • Consult weekly (Basic Center) and monthly (GAP, ASF, Aftercare, Outpatient) with the treatment team on the progress of each individual in fulfilling their goals

  • Develop and make appropriate referrals.

  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned.

Other Core Responsibilities

  • Maintain approval to transport clients and provide transportation services as needed.

  • Foster and coordinate inter-agency collaborative solutions and referrals to help clients connect with shelter, meet their goals, and attain long-term stability.

  • Ensure the proper maintenance of client-related files and records.

  • Continuously improve and consistently implement various case management and data collection tools.

  • Comply with attendance and punctuality policies and all other Lighthouse policies and procedures.

  • Enforce program rules, policies, and procedures and uphold agency values to maintain a safe, client-centered, and inclusive environment for clients, staff, interns, and volunteers.

  • Assist with front-desk operations, answering phones and crisis calls as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, Counseling, or Psychology

  • Licensed in the State of Michigan (LLMSW, LMSW, LLPC, LPC, TLLP, LLP).

    • All Limited License Master Social Workers (LLMSW), Limited License Professional Counselors (LLPC), and Temporary Limited License Psychologists (TLLP) must receive their permanent license (LMSW, LPC, LLP) within 5 years from the issue date of the original limited/temporary license as published in the State of Michigan LARA system to continue their employment.

  • Minimum of one (1) year of experience providing counseling services to teens, young adults, and families

  • Trauma-informed principles and values in a clinical treatment environment.

  • Ability to pass a rigorous background check, including child welfare screenings and clearances

  • Reliable transportation to transport clients and maintenance of automobile insurance

  • Valid driver’s license, Lighthouse reserves the right to require a driving record check for any employee where driving is an essential function of the position.

  • Knowledgeable in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Apps,

  • Flexibility and the capacity to prioritize tasks in a rapidly changing environment

  • Ability to multitask effectively in a fast-paced environment

  • Ability to work with a challenging and diverse population

  • Ability to work evenings and/or weekends

Preferred Qualifications

  • Lived or professional experience working with people experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty levels in the US.

  • 2+ years’ experience in a youth counseling role

  • An understanding of the social constructs impacting those experiencing economic instability,

  • Knowledge of the social services landscape in Oakland County and surrounding areas

  • HMIS experience

  • Ability to self-regulate and work independently while coordinating with other staff

  • An appetite for innovation and creative problem-solving

  • Harm Reduction, Trauma Informed Care, Housing First, and SPDAT training

  • Proven ability to work effectively with racially and ethnically diverse clients and teams

  • Experience in managing and leading teams

  • Ability to build consensus and resolve conflict; willingness to have difficult conversations.

  • Exceptional communication ability, both written and oral.

  • Ability to listen and accept feedback constructively.

  • Possess high emotional intelligence skills.

  • Unwavering personal integrity.

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, demanding, constantly changing environment


The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

Physical Demands:

The incumbent typically works in an office environment and uses a computer, telephone and other office equipment as needed to perform duties. The noise level in the work environment is typical of that of an office. Incumbent may encounter frequent interruptions throughout the workday. The employee is regularly required to sit, talk, or hear; frequently required to use repetitive hand motion, handle or feel, and to stand, walk, reach, bend or lift up to 20 pounds. Contact with the public in office environments may risk exposure to irrational/hostile behavior, contagious diseases, or contact with domestic animals. The physical demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.