Connections for the Homeless is a rapidly growing homeless services agency powered by our vision of ending homelessness in North suburban Cook County. Headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, Connections began over 35 years ago as a shelter run entirely by volunteers and has expanded to serve more than 1,500 participants every year through Eviction Prevention, Shelter and Housing services. Employing our core values of equity and inclusion, community, transparency, generosity of spirit, and resilience, we work in partnership with our supporters and the people we serve to achieve our mission of serving and catalyzing our community to end homelessness, one person at a time. Read more about how we know this is possible here.
In order to achieve this ambitious goal, Connections for the Homeless is embarking on a major expansion of services through additional positions in both our Community & Shelter and Housing programs, as well as supporting the agency’s growth through well-resourced investments in infrastructure. Stemming from our board’s strategic vision of making Connections an exceptional workplace and performance-driven organization that implements best practices, we offer salaries that exceed the average for our industry, competitive benefits including medical & dental insurance, retirement plans and generous paid time off, as well as a flexible workplace with multiple opportunities for professional and leadership development.
Connections for the Homeless is seeking outstanding candidates for the position of Behavioral Health Specialist.
Summary of Position: Provides therapeutic interventions for participants, primarily in homeless shelter setting, including emergency crisis intervention. Serves as an internal resource to agency staff regarding participant behavioral health needs.
- Builds relationships with participants by initiating engagement in the drop in milieu or other appropriate locations
- Implements behavioral health assessments to diagnose mental disorders in order to determine eligibility for internal/external programs and benefits
- Provides therapeutic interventions for participants
- Provides crisis intervention services as needed
- Provides clinical consultations and supervision to agency staff regarding participant behavioral health needs
- Consults with psychiatrist, staff, and external partners to provide coordinated behavioral health care
- Works with the outreach team to establish relationships with participants and provide behavioral health services
- Facilitates and coordinates therapeutic groups for shelter and drop in participants
- Develops and maintains relationships with health care and social service providers in the community and utilizes these relationships to provide referrals that help meet the complex needs of participants
- Enters case notes and records service transactions in clinic’s EMR and HMIS
- Adheres to the Code of Conduct and Core Values of Connections for the Homeless
The following qualifications are requirements for the position:
- Current LCSW or LCPC in the State of Illinois
- Experience diagnosing mental health and substance use disorders
- Thorough understanding of trauma-informed concepts, harm reduction, and recovery model of mental illness
- Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings
- Ability to work independently and possess good organizational and interpersonal skills
- Computer competency and comfort with Microsoft Office suite and data entry
The following qualifications are highly desirable:
- Experience with body-centered practices for healing trauma
- CADC certification
- Five (5) years of experience working in social services with clients with mental illness
- Two (2) years of experience providing group/individual therapy
- Valid Illinois Driver’s License and must be insurable under agency policy
- Must be able to pass a criminal background check
- Must submit to or provide evidence of a recent test for tuberculosis