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Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Peer Support Specialist – Housing Navigator in Boston, Massachusetts

Who We Are:

Since 1985, BHCHP’s mission has been to ensure unconditionally equitable and dignified access to the highest quality health care for all individuals and families experiencing homelessness in greater Boston. Over 12,000 homeless individuals are cared for by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program each year. We are committed to ensuring that every one of these individuals has access to comprehensive health care, from preventative dental care to cancer treatment. Our clinicians, case managers, and behavioral health professionals work in more than 60 locations to serve some of our community’s most vulnerable—and most resilient—citizens.

From our earliest days as a program, we have always sought to do work that is transformational: recognizing our shared humanity; centering dignity, compassion, mutual respect and supporting the right of every individual to access the highest levels of health care and every staff member to reach their fullest potential. We continue to be committed to building bridges and breaking down barriers, including systemic racism which harms us all. We provide community-based health care services that are compassionate, dignified, and culturally appropriate, incorporating social determinants of health, with the goal of breaking down the physical and systemic barriers that our patients face.

Bilingual, Bicultural, LGBTQIA identifying, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are encouraged to apply .

To learn more about working at BHCHP, watch our video Please Click Here (https://www.bhchp.org/careers) .

Job Summary:

This Peer Support Specialist will be primarily based in the JYP clinic as part of a city-wide initiative to coordinate housing efforts for female trauma survivors experiencing homelessness. This position will include flexibility to see women in an outreach setting and at additional clinic sites. Peer Support Specialists use their own lived experience to model personal responsibility, self-advocacy, and hopefulness to peers, exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills to promote empowerment and serve as a peer advocate. The Peer Support Specialist will assist women experiencing homelessness in navigating the complex housing system and will gain familiarity with the city of Boston’s housing pathways, particularly with chronic homelessness. This is a grant-funded position until the end of June 2022 and is an excellent growth opportunity for an individual interested in gaining experience in the fields of women’s health, recovery and homeless services, and peer support.

Hours: 30 hours per week

Responsibilities:

  • Provide vision-driven hope and encouragement through sharing personal recovery story and lived experience. Develop rapport and build an ongoing relationship with approximately 15 women who are connected to BHCHP via regular and consistent contact, engaging them in authentic peer-to-peer relationships and housing navigation.

  • Perform a wide range of tasks to help women regain independence within the community, direct their own recovery process, and move out of shelter into permanent housing.

  • Offer peer mentoring, support, and facilitation to help women develop skills needed to achieve their own goals and aspirations. Explore readiness and ambivalence with women around applying for housing.

  • Work with women to complete housing applications and obtain housing-related services, including vital documents, benefits (SSI, EAEDC), access to medical services, substance use treatment, and harm reduction services based on peer goals; accompany women to housing-related appointments, including apartment viewings, lease signings, RMV, etc. and visit community resources with women to introduce them to potential opportunities.

  • Identify preferences and barriers to housing and mitigate barriers such as credit, housing history, and legal history. Identify gaps in shelter bed stays and obtain supporting medical and non-medical documentation for the city of Boston’s housing pathways.

  • Participate in city-wide networks of housing navigation for women experiencing homelessness and develop cooperative working relationships with service providers. Collaborate across disciplines to develop insight into the recovery process and peer support services.

    Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent

  • Those with lived experience of trauma, mental health, substance use, or homeless service systems and a willingness to convey this experience are highly encouraged to apply

  • Must be certified or be eligible for the Massachusetts Peer Specialist training or equivalent and be certified within 6 months of hire. https://kivacenters.org/trainings/certified-peer-specialist/

  • Bilingual English/Spanish or English/Haitian Creole is preferred; equitable compensation for demonstrated verbal proficiency for these bilingual skills

  • Computer skills: proficient with Microsoft Office, entering narrative and other data into a database

    Compensation and Benefits:

  • Compensation starting at $22.07 per hour and increases with years of experience.

  • BHCHP full time employees are eligible for our competitive time off policy of 4 weeks’ vacation, health, dental and vision insurance, 403B retirement savings plan and employer retirement contribution, and pre-tax MBTA pass program with 40% discount. In addition, eligible employees will receive yearly increases, additional compensation for demonstrated bilingual proficiency and the opportunity to work with local hospitals and community health centers.

    Does this amazing opportunity interest you? Then we'd love to hear from you.

    As an Equal Opportunity Employer, BHCHP pledges not to discriminate against and encourages those from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds to apply, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA identifying, first generation college students and adults without a college degree, Bilingual and Bicultural persons; and individuals from low economic backgrounds.

    Covid-19 Vaccination: For the protection of our workplace and patients, BHCHP requires all staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination(s) is required for employment. All candidates offered employment will be given details about how to demonstrate receipt of vaccination.

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