Harm Reduction Peer Specialist

Position Summary:  The Harm Reduction Peer Specialist is a member of the non-fidelity Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team who provides flexible, community based services that are designed to promote the stability, recovery and community integration of formerly homeless individuals who have a mental illness and may abuse substances.  The Harm Reduction Peer Specialist works with individuals in their community environment assisting them in their recovery by encouraging them to engage and maintain treatment through instilling a sense of hope, encouragement, and vision in the future. The Harm Reduction Peer Specialist assists clients to:  better understand their mental illness and/or addiction; promote self-advocacy; maintain housing; and move from potential ambivalence to full adherence in medication-assisted treatment.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:                     

  • Carries out the daily routine of individualized engagement activities with consumers utilizing Recovery concepts that include sharing personal recovery experiences, developing a peer relationship that encourages hope in the future, and maximum participation in the community with focus on community integration (e.g., work, school, relationships, physical activities, self-directed hobbies and interests, etc.).
  • Reports on the evidenced-based Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP) that they are working on with participants as it relates to Medication-Assisted Treatment and overdose prevention.
  • Works in concert with person and case manager around Recovery goal development and planning, including: a) assisting individual to define personal interests and goals in relation to Recovery and to getting the life they want in the community; b) provides education on  WRAP to assist Recovering individuals in developing their own plans for advancing their recovery.
  • Provides daily information and feedback regarding consumer’s behavior, attitude and physical condition, as a part of participation in the treatment planning process and in Team meetings,
  • Serves as a role model and promotes self-advocacy so that Recovering individuals will have a voice that is fully heard in ensuring that their needs, goals, and objectives are central in their dealings with provider agencies. 
  • Liaisons with community groups/agencies that promote Recovery, along with other team staff, to ensure consumer access to and participation by: a) discussing possible matches and opportunities that coincide with the person’s interests, b) linking to self-help and mutual support groups, c) accompanying individuals to various community providers to familiarize them with potential resources, d) teaching them the skills needed to effectively and successfully utilize resources, and e) coaching to enable independent use of resources.  
  • Accompanies individuals to medication-assisted treatment appointments.
  • Provides a thorough knowledge of all different medication-assisted treatment options to individuals
  • Determines, together with a participant, which medication-assisted treatment would result in the best success, as well as utilizes a host of techniques for re-treatment engagement if an individual withdraws from treatment.
  • Attends team meetings and other required trainings.
  • Reads/completes required paperwork documentation in timely manner.
  • Tracks data in adherence to medication-assisted treatment including; filled prescriptions for suboxone, urinalysis lab reports showing the presence of both buprenorphine and metabolized norbuprenorphine, other substances, and required substance use behavioral health treatment.
  • Tracks enrollment in methadone maintenance programs, and adherence to vivitrol treatment and provide information directly to the Medication-Assistance Treatment Case Manager who will help decide what follow-up may be necessary by team members.
  • Adheres to a flex schedule which allows for evening and weekend hours as may be required to respond to individual needs.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Essential Education, Experience and Skills:

  • Patience, creativity, flexibility, compassion, and sensitivity to persons with disabilities and other minority populations.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and writing skills, as well as computer literacy.
  • High school diploma or GED; BA degree in a social science field preferred.
  • Has lived through significant addiction and mental health recovery and previous history with opioid treatment & recovery programs required.
  • Ability to work with diverse populations including clients and staff in critical and emergency situations.
  • Sensitive to cultural, economic, gender, and sexual orientation differences.
  • Valid driver's license and clean driving record.
  • Bilingual/Spanish speaking preferred.


Supervisory Responsibilities:



Physical Demands and Work Environment

Community environment.  Constant interaction with agency clientele. Considerable walking and standing.


How to Apply: 

To apply, send an email with cover letter and resume to hr@pathwaystohousingpa.org. Please indicate the position in your email's subject line.

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