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Substance Use Disorder 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: Substance Use Disorder Specialist
DIVISION: Programs - Engagement
LOCATION: North Hollywood, CA
HIRING RATE: $24.18/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 over 35 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 Substance Use Disorder Specialist is responsible for providing street-based substance use disorder assessments, counseling, crisis intervention, and follow-up referral/service tracking to people experiencing homelessness living on the streets and/or in encampments. This position will work within a street-based Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) and will collaborate with various community agencies and programs that provide inpatient and outpatient substance use treatment.


  • Provides mobile, street--based outreach to people experiencing homelessness living on the streets and/or in encampments
  • Motivates individuals experiencing homelessness to engage in outreach services and associated community referrals that promote well-being by building rapport and providing emotional support to participants
  • Creates relationships with substance use treatment providers and develops the referral process; maintains a resource listing of substance use disorder services for those engaged through the Street-based Multidisciplinary Team
  • Provides ongoing street-based housing focused case management services utilizing a Harm Reduction and Housing First approach
  • Screens and identifies persons with a substance use disorder or substance use symptoms; works with the individuals to develop a substance use treatment plan utilizing a harm reduction approach
  • Provides follow-up services to ensure that referrals are completed; provide advocacy as needed, engage in care coordination and discharge planning
  • Responsible for providing insight and knowledge of substance use-related disorders to outreach team members
  • Provides street-based housing focused case management
  • Maintains thorough and accurate records in both written form and through assigned electronic databases
  • Coordinates program department activities as directed by supervisor
  • Attends various regular staff, agency and community meetings as designated by supervisor
  • Drives personal vehicle in and around Los Angeles County and drives agency vehicles periodically to transport clients
  • Additional tasks, projects, and responsibilities as assigned by supervisor


Position reports to: Outreach Manager
Performance review: Annual


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



  • 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
  • Extensive knowledge of issues facing homeless single adults (e.g. chronic health, substance abuse, mental health, domestic abuse, resources for undocumented persons)
  • Able to demonstrate empathy and a non-judgmental attitude when engaging with persons experiencing homelessness
  • Possess a high level of tolerance and understanding for individuals who present for services with mental health and physical health needs
  • Knowledge of “harm reduction” and “housing first” philosophies
  • Knowledge of various substance use disorders according to DSM-5 required
  • Must be able to perform extensive charting, electronic data entry, and documentation
  • Clinical experience in working with individuals with multiple diagnoses including substance use, mental illness, and/or physical illness
  • 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
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Programs (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint), Zoom, and web-based software
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize roles, tasks, and deliverables
  • Strong advocacy skills
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Maintain and execute confidential information according to HIPAA standards
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to be flexible and work in an environment subject to ongoing change
  • Bilingual: Spanish/English preferred
  • 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
  • Must have and maintain a valid California Driver’s License and auto insurance in good standing
  • Use of a personal vehicle to travel between worksites and other locations is required
  • Ability to work a 9/80 work schedule


  • Registration from CADAC or CAADE, or related accreditation required
  • One (1) year of experience working with individuals experiencing homeless or have a minimum of two (2) years of experience providing direct health, behavioral health, or substance use counseling


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 be 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 the 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 and periodically transport clients; 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




Registration from CADAC or CAADE, or related accreditation required
1-2 years: One (1) year of experience working with individuals experiencing homeless or have a minimum of two (2) years of experience providing direct health, behavioral health, or substance use counseling

Licenses & Certifications


Driver License

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