Mental Health Systems, Inc.

  • Peer Homeless Specialist

    Job Locations US-CA-ESCONDIDO
    Req No.
    Peer/Children/Family Support
    Regular Full-Time
  • Program/Department Description

    Our North Star Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program is dedicated to the treatment and recovery of adults living with a serious mental illness in San Diego’s North County. Our clients have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness and may also have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. We offer recovery focused wraparound services, and help our clients become more productive community members, providing services that build on their strengths and further their recovery.


    Mental Health Systems is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to delivering innovative mental health, substance abuse, supportive housing, veteran, and recovery services. MHS provides over 75 broad-ranging programs that offer safety-net services and employs over 800 dedicated individuals across 6 California counties; Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Kings, San Bernardino, and San Diego.   Since 1978, Mental Health System’s client-centered, strengths-based solutions have been designed to offer comprehensive, culturally competent programs that embody our core values of Excellence, Hope, Action, Innovation, Integrity, and Dignity. MHS has a commitment toward reducing stigma and improving access to care using the principle of “whatever it takes”. MHS offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, vision, company sponsored retirement plan, employee assistance program, generous holidays, vacation, and sick for eligible employees.

    Position Description

    The Peer Homeless Specialist utilizes his or her experiences as a recipient of mental health services to enhance recovery efforts of clients. He or she serves as a member of a multidisciplinary team and shares practical and personal experience, knowledge and insight related to illness management, life skills, and the lifelong process of recovery. The Peer Homeless Specialist actively promotes greater understanding of clients’ points of view and preferences. The Peer Homeless Specialist also fulfills duties related to supportive counseling, rehabilitation, and collateral interactions with natural supports.



    • Provides peer counseling and support, drawing on own experiences as a consumer to build trust and commonality.
    • Serves as a mentor to clients, and families and promotes empowerment and hope.
    • Provides expertise and consultation to other staff members from a mental health consumer perspective in order to enhance empathy and professional effectiveness.
    • Promotes a team culture characterized by openness to clients’ experiences and encouragement of self-determination throughout treatment planning process.
    • Advocates for clients by educating about grievance or complaint procedures.
    • Serves as part of the on-call team, fulfilling all duties of this program component. Provides services after-hours as required by contract.
    • Provides education and support to clients about stigma and ways to combat it.
    • Provides education and support to family members, including peer and family run support groups.
    • Serves as liaison between the team and consumer-run programs, and encourages clients’ use of these.
    • Provide ongoing ‘side-by-side’ services related to skills development.
    • Maintains knowledge of best practices by reading appropriate publications, attending seminars, conferences, and other training as necessary.
    • Complies with all MHS and program rules, policies and procedures including HIPAA standards.
    • Demonstrates commitment to professional growth by attending in-service trainings and staff development programs, and seeking out supervision when needed.
    • Demonstrates adequate care and responsibility for equipment and Ensures facilities upkeep and safety by maintaining neat and clean work areas, by securing work area at close of business day, and by reporting vandalism, theft, or suspicion of drug abuse by coworkers to supervisor as soon as possible.
    • Maintain minimum degree of training and knowledge in cultural competency, co-occurring and gender responsiveness.
    • Participates in the Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

    Education/Experience Requirements

    • High School Diploma or G.E.D. and at least one year’s experience working in a social service setting serving individuals with mental illness.
    • Cultural and socio-economic factors that inform service provision to persons with psychiatric or dual diagnosis disorders.
    • Completion of Peer Training course or willingness to complete.
    • Assertive Community Treatment, Psychosocial Rehabilitation, and CCISC principles.
    • Self-acknowledged mental health consumer who has or is receiving services for serious mental illness.
    • Bilingual in Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog or Arabic is preferred if the position serves that population.


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