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Peer Support Specialist Benefits Advocacy Services

Adult Services | Los Angeles, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us:

VOALA

Helping Our Most Vulnerable Change Their Life Stories

Volunteers of America is a non-profit human services organization committed to serving people in need, strengthening families, and building communities.  VOALA provides a variety of social services to Los Angeles area communities such as Head Start programs, Upward Bound college prep programs, veterans’ services, homeless shelters, low-income housing program as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Learn more at www.voala.org.

BENEFITS ADVOCACY SERVICES

Provides assistance to eligible homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness (including Veterans) in applying for and obtaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration, Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Provides targeted SSI advocacy to disabled incarcerated individuals in Los Angeles County Jail Facilities

JOB SUMMARY AND PURPOSE

As a staff member of the treatment team, the Peer Support Specialist performs a wide range of tasks to assist peers in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery process.  Based on similar experiences, this position offers the Veteran empathy, support, and advice as challenges are faced along the way.  The Peer Support Specialist adds experience-based competencies and real-world examples that complement the training and expertise of the clinical staff members.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

  • Peer Counsellor: Share personal experiences, skills, strengths, supports and resources in your recovery from mental health and/or substance abuse issues.
  • Accompany participants to appointments and meetings, housing searches, voucher application/issuance sessions, and any other veteran-centered activity.
  • In coordination with the Benefit Specialist, assist participants in developing recovery plans with the skills, strengths, supports and resources to aid them in achieving goals and plans; work with case manager or treatment team in needed steps for self-directed recovery (most often within the home of the Veteran)
  • Assist participants with setting up and sustaining self-help (mutual support) groups and with locating and joining existing groups
  • Assist Case Managers with helping the participants identify and eliminate barriers and maintain employment/housing/sobriety
  • Develop skills required to progress to Benefit Specialist/Case Manager.

Qualifications

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must be able to pass a fingerprint clearance, background check, including criminal history, personal references, employment and education verifications

EDUCATION:

  • High school diploma (or GED/High School Equivalence Certificate)  

EXPERIENCE:

  • Personal experience in recovery from mental health and/or substance abuse issues 

KNOWLEDGE:

  • Personal experience in recovery from mental health and/or substance abuse issues; or Personal experience with homelessness; knowledge of the barriers to housing 

TECHNOLOGY SKILLS:

  • Basic Microsoft operating system navigation, outlook, word, excel, power-point, internet browser.

SKILLS AND ABILITIES:

  • Ability to coach and mentor staff veterans/clients.

INTERPERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Client- focused, Prompt, collaborative/team player, regular attendance, adaptable, communicator, organized, consistent, compassionate, conflict resolution.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • U. S. Armed Forces veteran preferred
  • Current California driver's license and clean driving record

Volunteers of America is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex including sexual orientation and gender identity, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law

This employer participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form 1-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S.

If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, this employer is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact Department of Homeland Security (OHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before the employer can take any action against you, including terminating your employment.