Veteran Peer Support Specialist

Summary: This position provides supportive services to Veterans and Veteran families enrolled in a short-term housing program. The Veteran Peer Support Specialist uses personal experience to serve as a mentor and additional support to program participants. This position will fill a gap in supportive services by offering the perspective of someone who has had first-hand experience as a Veteran and has navigated veteran services.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Works to outreach and engage participants into services by building rapport with program participants.
  • Provides assistance to staff in basic advocacy, assessment, case management services, and administrative tasks.
  • Will assist Employment Placement Coordinator with weekly Job Club, computer lab, and other job development projects.
  • Incorporates personal experience into work with participants, regarding his or her Veteran service, previous experience with navigating Veteran-specific resources (i.e. housing services, employment services, community resources, VA services, etc), in order to build rapport and motivate program participants.
  • Works as an advocate for participants and helps to reduce barriers to change and the enhancement of service provision by sharing his or her own struggle with the change process as determined appropriate with his or her supervisor.
  • Participates in external advocacy work, including assisting program participants in obtaining needed community resources.
  • Completes accurately, and in a timely manner, all-necessary documentation as needed.
  • Participates and contributes actively in regular supervisory and team meetings, in-house training sessions, conferences, and seminars, as needed.
  • Works toward developing a broad knowledge of casework and carries the volume of work as determined with his or her supervisor.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience:Must have a High School Diploma or GED. Must be a Veteran, having served in the United States military. Must have a minimum of 1 year of lived experience overcoming barriers relevant to program participants (such as housing barriers, employment barriers, and/or financial barriers), and in navigating veteran services in the city of Chicago. Willing to utilize and discuss lived experiences while performing job duties. Demonstrated experience providing support and/or mentoring is preferred.
  • Other Skills: Must possess a valid IL driver's license.
  • Computer Skills: Must demonstrate basic computer literacy skills, including proficiency in word processing, email, and utilizing search engines, and must have experience using basic office equipment.

Physical Demands: 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.

  • Frequently required to stand, sit, and walk.

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.

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