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Catholic Charities of Oregon Peer Support Specialist in Portland, Oregon

Peer Support Specialist

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  • Portland, OR, USA

  • Hourly

  • Part Time

  • Catholic Charities

    Compensation is commensurate with skills and experience. Competitive benefits package, including: 100% employer paid health insurance (employee portion), disability, life insurance, paid time off, 12 paid holidays, retirement plan, free parking and more.

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    Peer Support Specialist

    Homeless Services

    Part-Time; Non-Exempt (32 hrs/wk)

    Reports to: Homeless Services Manager


    Through the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Charities of Oregon achieves lasting solutions to poverty and injustice by partnering with clients to meet their economic and educational goals, and to support their physical and social well-being. Catholic Charities is the official domestic relief agency of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.


    The Peer Support Specialist will collaborate with case managers, mental health clinicians, and housing specialists from Catholic Charities programs to provide individualized support for each client. The Peer Support Specialist will function as a role model to clients by exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills as well as serve as an advocate by providing education and information to ensure the clients retain permanent housing.

    A Peer Support Specialist provides opportunities for individuals to direct their own recovery process and support the learning and utilization of skills needed to retain permanent housing. The Peer Support Specialist will be knowledgeable of available service options, will promote the utilization of natural support systems, will facilitate the development of a sense of wellness and self-worth, and will work with the multidisciplinary team to promote the goals of the peer.


  • Act as a role model in recovery to inspire hope and share life experiences as appropriate to the recovery process.

  • Assist clients in articulating personal goals for recovery and housing retention.

  • Assist clients in working with the case manager and/or clinician in determining the steps the client needs to take in order to achieve goals and self-directed recovery.

  • Identify abilities, strengths and assets of the client and assist client to recognize and use them.

  • Identify barriers to full participation in recovery and focus on strategies to overcome them.

  • Assist clients in learning to recognize early triggers and signs of relapse and use their individual coping strategies as an alternative to more structured services.

  • Models effective coping techniques and self-help strategies.

  • Work successfully and collaboratively with the multidisciplinary team.

  • Meet with clients at least monthly for the first year of residence and as often as one to two times per week.

  • Help clients stay connected to natural supports.

  • Assist clients in connecting with and navigating housing resources by accompanying to appointments, taking them out to view housing, and driving them or riding with them on public transportation.

  • Meet standards for documentation and data entry related to client support, education, advocacy, and community referrals in the electronic record according to established guidelines.

  • Participate in trainings and coordination meetings as requested by Supervisor.

  • Adherence to Catholic Charities policies and procedures.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Self-identify as current or former recipient of mental health or co-occurring services and personal experience with homelessness who can relate to others who are receiving those services.

  • Must be certified as Peer Specialist or Peer Wellness at time of hire or within first 6 months.

  • Ability to work well in team setting, as well as independently.

  • Be able to develop trusting relationships with peers and staff.

  • Comfort working with individuals actively experiencing symptoms of mental illness.

  • Knowledge and skill to teach and engage in basic problem-solving strategies to support individual clients in self-directed recovery.

  • Knowledge of mental health systems, human services and social services.

  • Ability to report to work reliably and in a timely fashion.

  • Respect for cultural diversity, religion and experience.

  • Good written and oral communication skills. Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred.

  • Ability to interact in a respectful, professional manner in accordance with agency's policies and procedures.

  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries with clients, the community, and other staff members.

  • Ability to effectively work with standard office programs including Word, Excel, Outlook, Microsoft Teams and PowerPoint.

  • Demonstrate judgment and discretion in dealing with confidential matters.

  • Commitment to Catholic Charities mission to work in partnership with vulnerable populations to achieve lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.

  • Willingness to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities.

  • Willingness to complete an Oregon approved curriculum in peer mentoring/support program.

  • Strong analytical and strategic problem-solving skills.

  • Ability to work well in team setting, as well as independently; be flexible and adapt well to different dynamics in a fast-paced work environment.

  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, which could include some evenings and weekends.

  • Ability to support organizational and program specific mission and goals.

  • Travel between sites in Portland required. Must have valid driver's license, access to vehicle and ability to obtain automobile insurance at levels required by agency (100/300/100).

  • Satisfactory results from criminal, civil and/or motor vehicle background check required.

    COMPENSATION: Compensation is commensurate with skills and experience. Competitive benefits package, including: 100% employer paid health insurance (employee portion), disability, life insurance, paid time off, 12 paid holidays, retirement plan, free parking and more.

    TO APPLY: Submit your application, resume and cover letter at