Veteran Peer Specialist
Veteran Peer Specialist
This position reports directly to the Veteran Service Coordinator (VSC) of U.S.VETS or the Program Coordinator (dependent upon which program the position is assigned). With supervision, the Peer Specialist is responsible for providing guidance and services to veterans to achieve their highest level of independence and assists in the daily implementation of day-to-day basic residential services. Peer Specialists support veterans with life skills and any recovery issues to include listening, encouraging, coaching, empowering, and connect them to resources to meet their individual needs.
For Peer Specialists of all U.S.VETS Programs:
- Ensures harmonious atmosphere within program by maintaining communication with and being liaison between the clinical staff and program staff and fostering the therapeutic community environment among clients
- Establishes rapport and maintains a professional relationship and boundaries with clients and potential clients.
- Coordinates individual and group services that help veterans achieve specific life and recovery goals and support success
- Responsible for the preventing or de-escalating any problematic behaviors among clients including submitting Incident Reports to the Veteran Service Coordinator, Program Coordinator or Lead Veterans Service Assistant concerning these events
- Assists with maintaining compliance with VA, HUD, and other funder regulations and organization protocols in requesting third party documentation and ensuring all program documentation is collected and maintained
- Participates in case conferences, consultations, and staffing with appropriate staff.
- Facilitates and/or participates in monthly Town Hall meetings.
- Assists Case Managers in maintaining confidential client files in a professional and timely manner ensuring all forms are the most recently revised versions and in compliance with organization standards; all required documents are present, complete, signed by the client and staff as applicable; and documents are placed in the correct order according to organization standards
- Maintains confidentiality in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards
- Assists in quality management activities, data collection, and preparing reports
- Attends scheduled team meetings and trainings
- Maintains and submits time sheets, mileage logs, supportive service requests, and other required documentation accurately and in a timely fashion
- Responsible for addressing client issues timely to ensure non-interruption of services
- With supervision, facilitates peer to peer groups and life skills classes and assists with teaching daily living skills on an individual level to those with specific needs
- Assists with monitoring program rent/participant fee compliance to assist clients in prioritizing housing
- Identifies and utilizes community resources to meet client needs.
- Transports clients to community medical, housing, errands, and other appointments and accompanies for peer support as needed
- Coordinates therapeutic, social/recreational activities and outings
- Performs other duties as assigned
Additional Program-Specific Duties:
U.S.VETS has various programs in which a Peer Specialist may be assigned to one or more, including Transitional Housing, Long-Term Supportive Housing, Mental Health, and Veteran Peer Access Network programs, that have additional program-specific duties as outlined below.
- For Peer Specialists working with Transitional Housing (TH) programs:
- Assists with ensuring clients are accounted for daily through contact, bed check, and/or daily sign-in logs
- Reviews and determines client eligibility for passes and communicates decision to Case Manager consulting as needed
- Conducts toxicology testing of clients
- Conducts room checks/inspections to ensure health and welfare of clients
- Encourages and coordinates client participation in program activities based on the client’s program track/model and goals
- For Peer Specialists working with Long-Term Supportive Housing (LTSH) programs:
- Maintain and post calendar monthly of meaningful activities for clients to include at least 2 activities/classes per week and a monthly Town Hall meeting
- Facilitate two shuttle van runs per week to the VA and grocery store
- Coordinates services and provides information and referral to both U.S.VETS services/programs and resources in the general community
- Under supervision and direction of U.S.VETS, acts as liaison with Property Management team of housing facility in which LTSH clients live. May assist with resident lock-outs and contacts property personnel for major property issues
- Seeks support from Clinical staff as needed for crisis intervention and other therapeutic intervention
- For Peer Specialists working with Mental Health programs:
- May report directly to the Clinical Director.
- Undergraduate in social sciences or related field preferred but will consider candidate attaining degree in social sciences or related field.
- Minimum of one year of direct practice (paid or volunteer).
- Maintains hours that are conducive to client needs (evenings and weekends will be required).
- For Houston site: ensures compliance with Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) grant requirements.
For Peer Specialist working with the Rapid Re-Housing Programs to include Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF):
- Provide identification of and pre-screening for eligibility of potential applicants to include Rapid Resolution (Diversion)
- Participate in Stand Downs and other VA/community outreach activities
- Provide peer support, mentoring, and coaching to participants in the SSVF or other Rapid Rehousing programs through assistance in navigating and accessing veteran and mainstream resources
- Provide assistance in the processing and submission of applications for housing
- Monitor and document participation, progress, referrals, and services provided to
- Provide direct support to the Case Management team as needed during the housing search and placement process. Such assistance may include accessing moving costs, rental monies, and other basic household items for the client
- Provide tenant education including tenant rights and responsibilities, housing discrimination and communication with landlords
- Conduct wellness checks and home visits as needed
- Conducts HQS Inspections on units prior to move in
- Maintain working relationships with community agencies to provide comprehensive
services to participants
- Maintain working relationships with veteran serving organizations
- Attend in-service trainings and outside conferences/workshops, as requested by the
- For Peer Specialists focusing on income and benefits advocacy:
- Collaborates with and may report to the Income & Benefits Specialist or directly to the Clinical Director to assist clients with applying for and navigating the benefits acquisition process.
- Transports and accompanies clients to benefits appointments with VA, Social Security, etc.
- Assists clients in creating and adhering to a personal budget to include making rent payments on time to prioritize housing
- For Peer Specialists working with the Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) Program:
- Reports directly to the VPAN Team Leader rather than the Veteran Service Coordinator
- Must complete approved Peer Certification, Risk Mitigation, and Peer Navigator courses
- Assess, alleviate, and reduce any barriers to empower veterans and military members in their communities to include connecting veterans and their families to critical resources including housing, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, job placement, and legal services
- Advocate and support veteran healthy functioning through referrals and linkages with a focus on early intervention and prevention and integration with community systems and resources
- Will function as “Battle Buddy” leads to support veterans and military family members through listening, encouraging, coaching, empowering, and connecting them to resources to meet their individual needs
- Collaborates with key stakeholders in the community and attends scheduled community meetings to include meetings with other grantees in the community, the Department of Mental Health, and funder prepared to collaborate and report on outcomes
Requirements: Minimum for all Peer Specialists:
- High School Diploma required.
- One year of experience in social services or related field preferred.
- A veteran of the U.S. military or military-related family member is preferred.
- Knowledge of empowerment and self-advocacy techniques.
- Experience working with homeless and/or veterans preferred.
- Experience facilitating support groups preferred.
- Strong oral and written communication skills.
- Professional manner and appearance.
- Ability to work independently and within a team.
- Ability to take direction.
- Ability to work effectively with diverse group of clients, staff, and community members.
- Computer proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and Internet and ability to use client tracking databases and electronic case records.
- Valid driver’s license required. Must meet company insurance requirements and complete a provided driver training course.
U.S.VETS subscribes to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity. It is our policy to provide employment, compensation, and other benefits related to employment based on qualifications, without regard to ancestry, age, color, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, U.S.VETS intends to comply fully with applicable federal, state, and local employment laws and the information requested on this application will be used only for purposes consistent with those laws.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - REQUEST FOR REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION
In accordance with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is U.S.VETS’ policy to provide reasonable accommodation to applicants who request accommodation during the application process in order that the applicant may be given a full and fair opportunity to be considered for employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application or interview process, you or someone else may submit your request to U.S.VETS in any of the following ways: by telephone 213-542-2600 and ask for the HR Assistant]; or by U.S. Mail or hand delivery: U.S.VETS, 800 West 6th Street, Suite 1505, Los Angeles, CA 90017, Attention: Human Resources – Job Applicant Request
Employee signature below indicates the employee's understanding of the requirements, essential functions, and duties of the position.
Employee Print______________________________________ Date__________________
U.S.VETS is a non-profit organization whose mission is the successful reintegration of homeless veterans to their highest level of independence. We provide service-enriched housing to homeless veterans throughout the country including the states of California, Hawaii, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and in the district of Washington, D.C.