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Job Opening: Alcohol & Drug & Mental Health Specialist

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Job Title:                                Alcohol & Drug & Mental Health Specialist

Department:                           Social Services

Reports to:                             Associate Director of Social Services

Hours:                                     Full time, Non-Exempt, generally 8-5 M-F.

Compensation:                       $14.44/hour ($30,045/year). Health insurance, holidays and paid leave.   



Provide strengths-based family advocacy with high resource using and other homeless families, primarily families in which one or more adults has a mental health and/or alcohol and drug issue which is creating a barrier to permanent housing stability or income self sufficiency or academic success for their children. Families served will be in both HUD and Bridges to Housing programs. All families face multiple challenging issues  over and above mental health or drugs and alcohol. Work in partnership with adult family members and the Family Advocate to develop and monitor the implementation of a goal plan aimed at housing stability, income self-sufficiency and academic success of their children. Ensuring that children’s needs are being adequately addressed is equally important.



1.      Conduct in-depth needs assessments with all families in need to identify a history and profile to assess the following:  housing history, income and work history, physical/emotional health treatment, criminal history, debt, social support and available resources, etc.

2.      Assist each family to develop and track implementation of a goal plan that systematically addresses the actions needed to achieve self-sufficiency including but not limited to development of personal and work skills, employment, increased income, housing stability, transportation and child care.

3.      Demonstrate comfort discussing mental health and drug and alcohol issues with families, assisting them in obtaining assessments and follow up treatment as appropriate.

4.      Support the ongoing recovery of families with mental health and drug and alcohol issues by regularly discussing these topics with them.

5.      Provide consultation to other HUD and Bridges to Housing Family Advocates in how to best assist families not on your caseload with mental health and alcohol and drug issues.

6.      Facilitate budget discussions with families to formulate and implement a plan that allows them to successfully manage financial resources, provide for current needs, address debts and plan for the future.

7.      Use creativity and resourcefulness to ensure that families are aware of all community resources available for them and advocate with other service providers for the needs of families as appropriate.

8.      Become familiar with the differing program rules, eligibility criteria and program operating instructions for HUD Family Futures and Bridges to Housing programs and operate within these guidelines.

9.      Attend weekly Permanent Supportive Housing Team meetings (currently Wednesdays at 10 AM at Arbor Glen, but subject to change).

10.  Maintain accurate, complete, up-to-date documentation of service activities using Human Solutions procedures, forms and data reporting systems.  Submit paperwork in a timely manner.

11.  Maintain current case notes and goal plan for each family assigned and make regular entries regarding their activities to achieve goals.

12.  Ability to understand and follow complex written and oral instructions, rules and procedures; to work independently and to be a vital and contributing part of a team.



The successful candidate must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge and abilities required.


Knowledge of:

·        Mental health and alcohol and drug issues, available community resources and best practices

·        Social and economic issues creating poverty, working successfully with practices and techniques related to people with low income to achieve greater self- sufficiency. 

·        Community resources and agencies providing social services needed by the homeless population.


Ability to:

·        Apply required knowledge and identify in partnership with clients their needs and effective solutions

·        Non-judgmentally elicit information and help problem solve around sensitive issues including but not limited to alcohol and drug use, domestic violence, child abuse and mental health.

·        Plan and coordinate delivery of services

·        Empower and support clients in life choices and change

·        Provide leadership and to facilitate group process, and to relate and work cooperatively with all volunteers and staff

·        Develop and maintain productive working relationships within Human Solutions, with public and private agencies, the general public and clients

·        Be culturally sensitive to and communicate respectfully with a broad diversity of families

·        Prepare and maintain clear, accurate, complete and timely records and reports

·        Maintain professional boundaries with all families served



·        Any combination of education and work experience in social services and case management totaling two years. Bachelor’s Degree in social sciences or related field preferred but not required.

·        Experience with crisis intervention, community networking and resource development.

·        Bi-Lingual Spanish/English preferred but not required.

·        General computer and word processing skills and willingness to learn other computer skills.



To perform the job effectively and efficiently, the successful applicant needs a reliable automobile, current Driver’s License and current automobile insurance.



Ability to speak and write in English and Spanish, if applying for a bilingual position.



Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.  Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.



Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.



Current Oregon Driver’s License and current automobile insurance.


PHYSICAL DEMANDS The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and talk or hear.  The employee frequently is required to stand; walk; sit; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, and distance vision.


WORK ENVIRONMENT The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.



 Please send resume with cover letter and contact information for three professional references to: Jaime Johnson, Human Solutions, 12350 SE Powell Blvd., Portland OR 97236 or via email (preferred method) to [email protected] . Letters of reference are not necessary, simply the names and contact information of people who can provide a professional reference. Open until filled.