Position title
Mental Health Specialist - Safe Haven

Safe Haven is a harm reduction transitional housing program serving homeless veterans seeking permanent housing. We provide each veteran in the program with their own room and a variety of services. In addition to the Mental Health Specialist position, program participants also have access to our Housing Placement Specialist, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Peer Specialist, and Program Manager as well as program monitor staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Swords to Plowshares has managed the Safe Haven program in a former SRO hotel in the San Francisco Tenderloin neighborhood since 2014. Safe Haven is a VA funded project, and our program is one of less than 30 of its kind nationally.

The Mental Health Specialist implements mental health and substance abuse services to a caseload of 19 veterans currently experiencing homelessness. The Mental Health Specialist provides short-term individual counseling, group counseling, case management, intake and assessment, advocacy, and referrals. This full-time, exempt position is also the main program contact during scheduled shift hours if and when the Program Manager is not present. Supervision hours available toward clinical licensure for ASW’s, AMFT’s and APCC’s.

  • Provide clinical case management and short-term individual therapy utilizing a harm reduction approach
  • Provide substance abuse counseling services for veterans who request them
  • Provide crisis counseling and risk assessment
  • Conduct groups weekly
  • Provide community-based support, including transporting veterans in a company van, when appropriate
  • Meet all contractual and programmatic goals and outcomes
  • Collaborate and coordinate treatment with various VA providers
  • Complete all required program documentation to include intakes, progress notes, group notes, psychosocial assessment, monthly treatment plans, data for in-house reports, correspondence, etc. within the assigned timeframe
  • Assist with residential program-related responsibilities such as meal preparation, conducting wellness checks, answering the door and phones, and medication reminders
  • Attend required meetings and trainings
  • Other duties as assigned by management
  • Master’s degree in social work, psychology or counseling.
  • Clinical license preferred but not required
  • Two (2) years of experience providing direct mental health services to persons experiencing homeless, substance abuse and mental health diagnosis
  • Experience providing services within a harm reduction and motivational interviewing framework to persons actively using substances
  • Knowledge and application of the DSM V
  • Working understanding of the needs of persons experiencing homelessness with an emphasis on mental health, especially trauma, and readjustment issues
  • Knowledge of crisis intervention techniques
  • Experience providing individual and group psychotherapy to persons with mental health, concurrent substance abuse and medical conditions
  • Ability to walk up and down stairs and sitting for long periods of time
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with a variety of personalities and be comfortable working with an at-risk client population, including embracing the agency’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including conflict resolution, crisis intervention, and quality assurance
  • Good listening skills
  • Ability to be a team player and be a role model for clients and staff
  • Computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office applications
Job Benefits

Compensation is based on a competitive public interest salary scale. Swords to Plowshares offers a generous benefits package including the following benefits:

  • Excellent medical and dental packages
  • 403(b) retirement plan with employer contribution
  • 17 vacation days in the first year
  • 12 holidays every year
  • Wellness program
Date posted
February 18, 2020
Employment Type
Full-time, exempt
Job Location
San Francisco, CA
Working Hours
Tuesday - Saturday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter explaining your interest in Swords to Plowshares, where/how you found out about this career opportunity, and your salary requirement. Email the cover letter along with your resume to [email protected]

Please include the exact title for this position in the subject line of your email: Mental Health Specialist - Safe Haven.

Position: Mental Health Specialist - Safe Haven

Thank you for submitting your application. We will contact you shortly!