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Mental Health Specialist, North Hollywood, CA

Organization: LA Family Housing
Category: Behavioral Health Professional
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Date Job Posted: May 5, 2022
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POSITION: Mental Health Specialist
DIVISION: Programs - Engagement
LOCATION: North Hollywood, CA
HIRING RATE: $32.55/hour


LA Family Housing is a leader in homeless services and affordable housing development in Los Angeles. We believe that everyone deserves the dignity of a home and we are invested in innovative solutions to ensure their long-term stability. With 37 years of experience, we know what works to end homelessness in people’s lives: an individualized approach that combines housing options with supportive services. Our commitment to best practice impacts 11,000+ people each year, and our community-based approach allows us to influence how homelessness is addressed in Los Angeles and nationwide. Our growing portfolio of 26+ properties enables vulnerable groups access to permanent homes, and our services help them overcome their barriers to overall well-being.

We take tremendous pride in the emergence of our staff as national leaders in innovation, best practices, and policy within housing production and homeless services. From presenting at national conferences to facilitating service collaboration among providers in other regions, we equip our industry to effectively respond to homelessness and ultimately move more people home, together. Join the fight to end homelessness and make a difference in people’s lives at LA Family Housing!


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


Position reports to: Outreach Supervisor
Performance review: Annual


Number of employees receiving work direction: Zero (0)
Position titles reporting to position: Zero (0)



  • 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 worksites 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 & Insurance

  • Blue Shield of California Health options (TRIO Medical, SAVENET Medical, FULL Medical and PPO Medical) or Kaiser HMO Plan (Kaiser fully paid for by LAFH)
  • Dental options: Delta Dental PPO and Delta Dental HMO (DHMO-fully paid for by LAFH)
  • Vision option: Humana (fully paid for by LAFH)
  • Life options: Fully sponsored by LAFH, Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) base plan
  • Voluntary Life options: several options with Reliance Standard and AFLAC
  • Long Term Disability (LTD) option (fully paid for by LAFH)
  • Transamerica Policies: Hospital Indemnity, Disability, Accident, and many others


  • Competitive Market Rate Salary
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program eligibility by working at LAFH
  • Retirement Plan options: 403B or ROTH IRA with a 1% employer contribution
  • Education Savings Plan: 529 Education Savings Plan
  • AFLAC Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA): Unreimbursed medical and Dependent Care options
  • Legal Policy option: AFLAC Legal policy

Vacation & Time Off

  • Every other Friday for eligible employee through an alternative workweek schedule (9/80)
  • Paid Holiday Benefits (13 Observed Holidays per Year)
  • Paid Sick Benefit (12 days, with a self-care provision)
  • Paid Vacation Benefit (12 days to start, tenure-based increase)

Leave of Absences

  • Family Medical Leave of Absence
  • Maternity & Paternity Leave
  • Military Leaves
  • Jury Duty

Staff Development

  • LA Family’s Housing Provision of $750 in a professional staff development fund available to eligible employees
  • Two Employee Assistance Programs (fully paid for by LAFH)
  • Employee Appreciation Program: Peer-Based Employee of the Month Program with opportunity for two employees to be elected
  • Paid clinical hours for eligible employees seeking licensure
  • Wellness Initiatives
  • Cross Functional Training Opportunities
  • Company Sponsored Events


LA Family Housing provides a Total Rewards Compensation Philosophy that includes Comprehensive benefits, Industry leading cash compensation opportunities, Recognition of employee performance, Staff development resources, and Commitment to employee wellness. The salary listed on this job description is reflective of our compensation structure and is a firm amount. Future increases are performance-based.


LAFH is committed and proud to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or status as a veteran.


LA Family Housing will consider qualified applicants with a criminal history pursuant to the California Fair Chance Act. You do not need to disclose your criminal history or participate in a background check until a conditional job offer is made to you. After making a conditional offer and running a background check, if LA Family Housing is concerned about conviction that is directly related to the job, you will be given the chance to explain the circumstances surrounding the conviction, provide mitigating evidence, or challenge the accuracy of the background report. Find out more about the Fair Chance Act by visiting the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s Fair Chance Act webpage.


Effective November 1, 2021, LA Family Housing will require proof of vaccination for all employees. This requirement is in response to the public health emergency and is intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among LA Family Housing employees, our stakeholders and those we serve – it will remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency. Employees may apply for an exemption if they cannot be vaccinated due to complicating medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs. If the exemption is approved, then the employees will be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing.

Travel Required

Yes. 30% Travel required; Use of personal vehicle required




Masters or better in Social Work.



2 years: Social Service Experience

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