Peer Support Specialist - PATH

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Job description: Peer Support Specialist, PATH

General Description: 

The PATH Peer Support Specialist is an individual that has previously experience homelessness, preferably by living outdoors; living in recovery from a mental illness or mental illness and substance use disorder; and has completed the Peer Specialist certification process in Texas. To provide peer support to persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with a diagnosis of mental illness or who have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance use in Galveston & Brazoria counties. This employee will assist PATH liaisons with community based homeless services agencies, Gulf Coast Center staff, and other community agencies to  provide  benefits  and services to consumers with a goal to transition homeless persons  into mainstream mental health  services, provide referrals to mainstream primary health care, substance abuse services, and other resources. 

Duties: 

Outreach; Support and engagement; Facilitation of linkages; and Assistance in locating needed supplies for clients. The employee must comply with PATH grant requirements and standards, complete accurate and timely collection of data, and submit reports. May require irregular work hours, including Saturdays; requires current Texas Driver's license; insurance and reliable transportation vehicle.

Primary Job Functions: 

  • Conduct outreach services and engagement with homeless individuals to determine PATH eligibility. Assist case managers in assessment and intake for mental health connection. Provide referrals to community resources and alternative programs if applicant is not eligible for internal programs and provide resources as necessary.
  • Maintain contact and document interactions with all PATH program participants on an ongoing basis. 
  • Provide linkage and support to program participants as they pursue mental health services. 
  • Assist program eligible participants in gathering documentation necessary and compile social security applications in accordance with the SOAR initiative. 
  • Provide assistance to locate mainstream and community resources in obtaining benefits, birth certificates, social security cards and other important documents necessary for housing and supportive services.
  • Assist in efforts to connect to mental health services and supportive services for PATH program participant by utilizing existing resources within the county. 
  • Collect data for HMIS to provide information regarding homeless persons and outcomes of program services
  • Report personnel leave; flex time and emergency leave to assigned supervisor. 
  • Strict adherence to the professional, ethical, and legal requirements set forth in GCC's Business Code of Conduct as well as the Corporate Compliance Plan.  Consistent adherence to the Center's Dress Code.
  • Maintain current status of all required trainings as directed by GCC.

Working Conditions:

  • Office and Community work environment.
  • Direct service environment.
  • Travel Required.
  • May require irregular work hours.

Required Skills: 

  • Strong interpersonal skills 
  • Good written, verbal communication, and computer skills
  • Good time and organization management skills. 
  • Knowledge of the social service network. 
  • Innovative thinker who is positive, proactive, and readily embraces change. 
  • Ability to handle persons served professionally during all interactions. 
  • Ability to organize time effectively and to meet assigned work demands.

Qualifications: 

  • Current and valid peer specialist certification, or currently working to obtain certification 
  • Current and valid driver's license and automobile insurance
  • Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science or related field preferred, although not required 
  • Bilingual preferred, although not required 

Experience: 

  • Experience in living outdoors or in shelters and in recovery from mental illness or mental illness and substance use disorder. Experience in community based mental health programs or outreach programs.  .

Work Status: 

  • Full time, non exempt 40 hours. Under immediate to general supervision from the program manager. 

Travel: 

  • Travel required throughout Galveston and Brazoria County. Travel required to Houston for program relevant meetings.  Mileage reimbursed at .54/mile or possible use of a center vehicle as available.