Mental Health Specialist - Outreach & Engagement Division

  • 204 Hampton Drive, Venice, CA, us
  • Full-time

Company Description


Since 1976, St. Joseph Center has been meeting the needs of low-income and homeless individuals and families in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, and surrounding communities.  The Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that assists people without regard for religious affiliation or lack thereof through comprehensive case management and integrated social service programs.  The Center enjoys broad-based community support as well as a sponsored relationship with its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.  St. Joseph Center serves approximately 6,000 individuals annually.

Brief Description of Principal Activities

Multifaceted intervention, prevention, and education services are carried out at four sites on the Westside of Los Angeles.  St. Joseph Center’s integrated programs provide clients with concentrated and coordinated access to services according to the nature of their needs.

Job Description

Job Summary

The Mental Health Specialist works as a team member with several social service professional and paraprofessional staff ensuring the delivery of quality care in accordance to the rules and regulations established for contracted agencies as well as adhering to the mission of St. Joseph Center.  The Mental Health Specialist will be responsible for providing clinical and case management support to new and existing clients of SJC. 

*This position requires CA BBS Registration as MSW or MFT.


Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • Provide ongoing case management services that will ensure successful permanent housing. This includes decreasing social isolation and preventing relapse risks. Also, advocacy to deter evictions and linkage to any needed services such as medical/dental, substance abuse, life skills training, self-help, money management, meaningful community activities, volunteer services, job placement, etc.
  • Implement case management service plan goals, emphasizing coordinated strategies for addressing mental health/substance abuse issues, relapse prevention, medication management and any other risk factors that could impede permanent housing and provide ongoing assessment of client progress in attaining goal plan
  • Develop close working relationships with your internal team, outreach workers, case managers, police and paramedics, the Los Angeles Housing Authority, and collaborative agencies

Essential Duties:

  • Provide mental health assessment and interventions to the severe and persistently mentally ill
  • Perform initial comprehensive bio psychosocial assessment; develop a plan of intervention that addresses identified need for housing, on-going case management services, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and coordination of needed community services
  • Present findings to other collaborative agencies in order to develop a service plan of action that will expedite housing opportunities and housing stability.
  • Utilize a harm reduction model when working with clients with chemical dependency or abuse issues.
  • Ensure a smooth transition into permanent housing by assisting clients with life skills such as budgeting, cooking, accessing community resources, and other skills as needed.
  • Ability to work remotely and provide crisis management, case management, and other related substance abuse/mental health services to clients on the streets, in service venues, in housing placements, or other locations as appropriate.
  • Respond to urgent requests for assistance from external stakeholders or landlords as needed.
  • Provide transportation through volunteers or staff to accompany clients and children when necessary to medical and legal appointments and job interviews when they may experience unusual difficulties.
  • Accompany clients to court appearances and to the magistrates’ office when support and assistance is needed.
  • Conduct VI-SPDAT, (Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool), on all new clients in order to connect them to proper intervention and services. Document results, complete match initiation form, and submit all paperwork to CES Coordinator.
  • Help client to obtain various forms of identification including birth certificates and social security cards. Provide employment assistance, housing referrals, and health related assistance.
  • Assist with applications for supportive and subsidized housing and prospect potential locations for affordable rental housing.
  • Build relationships with prospective landlords, and identify appropriate permanent housing options.
  • Collaborate with community substance abuse and mental health providers to ensure seamless referral Service.
  • Work with local law enforcement and interim service providers to ensure a smooth transition from street living to interim housing.
  • Provide ongoing information, referrals, linkages, and advocacy for all other identified needs. Creatively use and develop community resources to broker and link clients to services.
  • Provide a high quality customer service environment for all clients. Participate in staff meetings and training as assigned by supervisor
  • Document services according to DMH standards and complete all necessary paperwork in a timely manner.
  • Complete paperwork on each face to face and telephone contact with the client, or with any collateral contact, by close-of-business on the next working day.
  • Ensure all program data is accurate and entered into the appropriate program documentation system as contractually required. (HMIS, internal spreadsheet, CES, Exym, etc.)
  • Generate client data for reporting.
  • Complete follow-up and retention services, and provide back-up documentation in client file

Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.



Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Must be highly motivated and a self-starter.  Must have the ability to communicate with and relate to a diverse group of people including clients, community, and other staff.  Must have excellent administrative and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with advanced and evidenced based intervention: Harm Reduction, Motivational Interviewing, Critical Time Intervention, and Housing First
  • A bilingual background is a plus
  • The position requires an ability to work flexible hours including some early mornings and evenings


  • Two years’ experience with providing mental health services


  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in social work, psychology, human services or a related field

Direct Reports:

  • This position has no direct supervisory responsibilities.

Computer Skills:

  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and widely supported internet browsers.

Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:

  • Required: CA BBS registered MSW, MFT
  • Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions.
  • Valid automobile liability insurance.

Additional Information

Status: Full-Time/Exempt

Salary: DOE

Employment with St. Joseph Center is contingent on completion of satisfactory background check.

St. Joseph Center endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations. If you require an accommodation due to a disability to complete this application OR you are experiencing issues submitting your application and accompanying materials please contact Human Resources at 310-396-6468.

For consideration, please submit cover letter and resume. St. Joseph Center is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. All applicants for employment are invited to voluntarily self-identify their gender, race, ethnicity, and veteran status, by completing the EEO Information. Providing your EEO Information is voluntary and refusal to self-identify will not subject applicants to any adverse treatment. Similarly, applicants who do self-identify will not be subject to any adverse treatment based on the information they provide.

St. Joseph center invites you to review the current "EEO is The Law" poster as part of the application process. A link to the current poster is located here.