Peer Support Specialist - (HUD-VASH)
Adult Services | Los Angeles, CA | Full Time
Volunteers of America of Greater Los Angeles is a large, national not-for-profit organization founded in 1896. We provide 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.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development - VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program is an effort between VOALA, HUD and the VA to move Veterans and their families out of homelessness and into permanent housing. The program provides housing assistance through a special Section 8 voucher program to allow homeless veterans to rent privately-owned housing.
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.
The Peer Support Specialist will:
- 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
- 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 HUD-VASH Case Managers with helping the veteran identify and eliminate barriers and maintain permanent housing through the HUD-VASH program
- High school diploma (or GED/High School Equivalence Certificate)
- Personal experience in recovery from mental health and/or substance abuse issues
- Personal experience with homelessness; knowledge of the barriers to housing
- Proven ability to interact positively with diverse groups of client population with varying education and economic backgrounds
- Valid California driver's license, insurance and reliable transportation
Preferred Skills for this Position:
- 1 - 3 years’ experience working with veterans, people in recovery and/or homeless individuals
- Bachelor’s degree preferred
- Experience connecting clients to community resources