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Peer Specialist - Mobile Response Team

Company: DESC
Location: Seattle
Posted on: January 26, 2023

Job Description:

Job Title: MRT Peer Specialist

Pay Range: $31.52 - $34.81 per hour

Days Off: TBD

Shift & Schedule:

9am - 5pm M-F, eventually will break into the following shifts:

Day: 7am-3:30pm; Swing: 3pm-11:30pm; Night: 11pm-7:30am

Location: Variable, Seattle, WA

Insurance Benefits: Medical (no premiums/payroll deductions for employee coverage), Dental, Life, Long-term Disability
Other Benefits: Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), ORCA card subsidy, Paid Time Off (34 days per year), Retirement Plan

About DESC:

DESC (Downtown Emergency Service Center) is a nonprofit organization working to help people with the complex needs of homelessness, substance use disorders, and serious mental illness achieve their highest potential for health and well-being through comprehensive services, treatment, and housing. Our vision is a community where no person is abandoned, ignored, or experiencing homelessness.

As the region's leading provider of services to multiply disabled adults who have experienced chronic homelessness, DESC serves almost 2,000 people each day. Our integrated service model is designed to help people secure and maintain appropriate, safe, and affordable housing. DESC is recognized nationally and regionally as an innovator in developing solutions to homelessness.


The Mobile Response Team (MRT) provides 24/7 mental and behavioral health services at Health through Housing (HtH) facilities and targeted Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) sites across King County. The primary goal of the program is to provide in the moment crisis behavioral health services and time-limited behavioral health case management via mobile intensive response teams for the purpose of assisting individuals in becoming aware of behavioral health and other community service options. The MRT is a mobile interdisciplinary team consisting of certified peer counselors, behavioral health case managers, substance use disorder professionals, mental health professionals and Narcan waivered medical staff.

Peer Specialists will work with an integrated team responding to crises, meet with residents to assist in their recovery and success, lead recovery groups, and participate incase consultation and treatment planning.


  • In response to and cooperation with PSH and HTH staff, perform timely outreach services to individuals needing crisis intervention services, assessment, referral, and linkage to needed services.
  • As a member of a multi-disciplinary team, provide multi-axial assessments, chemical dependency assessments, crisis intervention, stabilization and meaningful engagement for adults
  • Establish and implement a plan to successfully engage clients in relevant services and other resources.
  • As needed, provide follow-up services aimed at establishing linkage to services for program participants.
  • Facilitate recovery groups at housing sites
  • Complete all data collection and documentation required of the MRT Project and DESC in a timely manner.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with traditional & non-traditional programs/services providing services for the population served.
  • Provide peer recovery support.
  • Assist residents with voicing their interests and goals through a variety of channels including: Goal Plans, Crisis Plans, WRAP, and other methods of expressing individual preferences for their recovery goals.
  • Help participants identify, understand, and combat stigma and discrimination associated with mental health concerns and substance use disorders and develop strategies to reduce self-stigma.
  • Integrate personal experience with mental health concerns and substance use disorders into work with program participants.
  • Work collaboratively with Peer Specialists across all DESC programs to grow, learn, develop with and from one another through sharing personal experiences and professional development.
  • Comply with applicable program research and evaluation procedures.
  • Comply with the all-agency policies and procedures, and relevant titles of the Washington Administrative Code and Revised Code of Washington.
  • Advocate for clients' access to both traditional and non-traditional community resources and services, ensuring that clients' needs are met, and rights maintained; consult and collaborate with community providers & resources to ensure continuity of care.
  • Participate in psychiatric consultation, supervision, program meetings and in-service trainings; participate in clinical reviews and case conferences for clients on caseload.
  • Participate in verbal de-escalation in emergent situations and be able and willing to assist other staff as needed to maintain a safe, secure environment.
  • Promote integration through DESC and the community at large.
  • Provide individualized, recovery focused plans/ services that will help with management of recovery better.
  • Other duties as assigned.


    • Certification as a Certified Peer Specialist by the Washington State Peer Counselor Training Program, or the ability to obtain certification within the first 90 days of starting in the position, required
    • Current Washington State driver's license and insurable driving record, required.
    • At least 1 year of experience working with adults challenged by severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders. Please see education and experience requirements for more details.
    • Ability to obtain a Washington State Department of Health minimum credential as an Agency Affiliated Counselor.
    • Have a strong personal understanding from own experience in recovery and resilience, the value of client partnerships and client choice, and the balance between protection from harm and personal dignity.
    • Be willing to seek to understand each client's unique circumstances and personal preferences and goals and incorporate them into the crisis response to help the client regain a sense of control.
    • Possess the cultural humility to learn to work effectively with individuals who are Black, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA, and other groups who routinely face discrimination and have difficulty accessing the health care they deserve.
    • Interest or experience in working with clients who are difficult to engage and maintain in traditional mental health / substance use disorder programs.
    • Strong knowledge of relevant community resources and methods for accessing them.
    • Experience working with adults who are experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, have a mental health and/or co-occurring substance use disorders.


      • Knowledge of de-escalation skills, crisis intervention & stabilization, and harm reduction strategies, preferred.
      • Experience in outreach or crisis work.
      • Bi-cultural background/experience.
      • Bi-lingual in Spanish/English.

        Strong applicants are able to demonstrate the ability to be positive in their empathetic responses to all persons; understand the value of meaningful and deep client engagement; have the potential to acquire the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills of an effective crisis worker; and value a non-judgmental response to sensitive issues. Candidates should be able to accept feedback and work in a highly collaborative and potentially stressful environment.


        The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee will be required to sit, drive, walk, stand, communicate with other employees and vendors, is required to lift and carry items weighing up to 10 pounds and to operate computer hardware systems. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. Considerable stress may occur. Employee will be working both indoors and outdoors in all types of weather.


        DESC is committed to diversity in the workplace, and promotes equal employment opportunities for all staff members and applicants. The Agency will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability in any employment practice, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification. Minorities and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Keywords: DESC, Seattle , Peer Specialist - Mobile Response Team, IT / Software / Systems , Seattle, Washington

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