Mental Health Specialist III

$23.92 - $26.68 hourly
  • LA Family Housing
  • North Hollywood, CA 91605
  • Sep 08, 2020
Full time Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

The Mental Health Specialist is responsible for working within the Street-based Engagement Team (SBET) to assess and provide needed mental health referrals, provide crisis intervention, maintain thorough and accurate records in both written form and through the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), and collaborate closely with various programs connected to the Department of Mental Health (DMH). Responsible for providing field-based mental health assessments, service referrals, and follow-up referral/service tracking to homeless single adults living on the streets of Service Planning Area (SPA) 2.



  • Provide mobile, field-based outreach and clinical case management to homeless single adults living on the streets of SPA 2
  • Provide supportive psycho-therapy techniques to increase engagement of participants and/or increase awareness surrounding mental health symptoms
  • Work within the goals of CES to reduce street homelessness by linking program participants to mental health, health services housing services, and other supportive services for which they are eligible
  • Ensure SMT provides excellent street-based engagement services that allow homeless single adults access to additional community resources and support
  • Keep detailed logs of SMT outreach activities
  • Utilize “Harm Reduction” & “Housing First” philosophies when working with homeless individuals
  • Work closely with mobile medical team to ensure homeless single adults on the streets are triaged to needed medical care and health care assessment
  • Ensure that persons with a mental health problem are identified; work with the individuals to develop a mental health service plan, if desired
  • Ability to complete safety assessment and liaise with Psychiatric Mobile Response Team (PMRT) if danger to self/others resulting from a mental disorder or grave disability that may result in involuntary detention at a hospital facility is suspected
  • Assist in onboarding activities for MHS new-hires related to mental health assessment, documentation, linkage, and safety procedures
  • Provide crisis intervention as needed
  • Follow up to ensure that referrals are completed; provide advocacy as needed
  • Create relationships with mental health service providers and develop the referral process; maintain a resource listing of mental health services for those engaged through the SMT
  • Must maintain thorough and accurate records in both written form and through HMIS
  • Attend various regular staff, agency. and community meetings as designated by supervisor
  • Drive personal vehicle in and around Los Angeles County and drive agency vehicles periodically to transport clients
  • Additional tasks, projects, and responsibilities as assigned by supervisor




  • Passion for ending homelessness
  • Knowledge and experience in conducting field-based services; understanding of the Coordinated Entry System (CES) and its overarching goal of achieving “functional zero” for those experiencing homelessness
  • Knowledge of issues facing homeless single adults (e.g. chronic health, substance abuse, mental health, domestic abuse, resources for undocumented persons)
  • Must be able to perform extensive charting, electronic data entry, and documentation
  • Clinical experience in working with participants with multiple diagnoses including mental illness, substance abuse and/or physical illness
  • Knowledge of DSM-5 required (attained either from schoolwork or work experience)
  • Availability to work after hours for crisis calls and/or disaster response
  • Manage emotionally charged situations by providing crisis intervention in a field-based environment
  • Experience working with a multidisciplinary team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to be flexible and work in an environment subject to ongoing change
  • Obtain and maintain CPR/First Aid Certification
  • Ability to pass post offer Tuberculosis (TB) clearances
  • Travel is a regular duty for this position and is required 30% of the time
  • Use of a personal vehicle to travel between work sites and other locations may be required
  • Must have and maintain a valid California Driver’s License and insurance in good standing
  • Ability to work a 9/80 work schedule



  • Master’s degree in Social Work or Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Two (2) years of experience in social services or non-profit environment
  • Have or obtain ASW or MFT practicing number from the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) within six months of hire date



FLSA Status:                       Non-Exempt

 Payroll Status:                   Hourly

 Work Schedule:                 Full-Time



 The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. Employee may come in contact with individuals and families in crisis who may be ill, using substances, and/or not be attentive to personal health and safety for themselves. The employee may experience a number of unpleasant sensory demands associated with a client’s use of alcohol and drugs, and the lack of personal care. The employee must be ready to respond quickly and effectively to many types of situations, including crisis situations and potentially hostile situations. Employee is required to:

 Walk and climb stairs; Handle, finger, grasp, and feel objects and equipment; Reach with hands and arms; Communicate, receive, and exchange ideas and information by means of the spoken and written word; Be mobile by moving oneself from place to place quickly and easily; Repeat various motions with the wrists, hands, and fingers; Be able to have visual activity for (including, but not limited to) administrative and clerical tasks; Drive personal vehicle in and around Los Angeles County for work-related tasks or assignments; Be able to enter various buildings that may require climbing stairs; Be subjected to outside environmental conditions; Use a personal and/or laptop computer, and copy, postage and fax machines. Complete all required forms in personal writing.

 Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. If you require an accommodation, please make sure to inform the Human Resources Department by the first week of employment. If an accommodation is not required at the time of employment, but is later required, you must inform the Human Resources Department of the need for accommodation at the time it is needed. 


Health, Dental, Vision, Life, Voluntary Life, 403B Retirement Plan, 529 Education Savings Plan, Long Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program, AFLAC Policies, AFLAC FSAs, Legal Policy, Employee Appreciation Program, Company Sponsored Employee Outings, 9/80 Alternative Work Schedule, Paid Sick, Vacation and 12 Observed Holidays.



LAFH is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for applicants and employees.



LAFH is in compliance with the Fair Chance Initiative for hiring and will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories.