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Peer Support (Housing) Specialist

Closing Date: August 24, 2017
Permanent, Full-time, 35 Hours per Week, Evening Hours and Weekends may be required
Competition #: 201737

Our Mission: As the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, helps build resilience, and supports recovery from mental illness.

Our Organizational Values:
• Client and Family Centered – through partnership, accountability and action
• Culturally Competent – to provide the best service and work experience
• Innovation – to bring value to our community

Team Values: Trust, Respect, Communication and Teamwork.

Hours of work: 35 hours per week. Evening and weekend hours may be required.

Location: Aurora, York and South Simcoe

Job Profile:
The Peer Support (Housing) Specialist supports homeless and precariously housed individuals to find and maintain adequate, safe housing. The specialist has a key role as a liaison between the team providing support for the client and the landlord as well as the client and their landlord. Clients will have serious mental illness that is often accompanied with substance abuse, history of involvement in the criminal justice system and chronic physical illness. The Peer Support (Housing) Specialist is part of a multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual team that provides a service based on assertive outreach and intensive case management.

The Peer Support (Housing) Specialist collaborates with clients to provide individualized and flexible support to help them find housing, engage and integrate them into the community, and helps to facilitate their access to resources and supports to maximize their independence and promote housing stability. The goal is to promote housing stability by managing landlord relations and property management issues. The Specialist provides tenancy support like lease renewals, repairs and maintenance assistance, landlord tenant mediation and they can alert other team members of a problem or potential problems before they become a housing stability crisis.

Peer Support (Housing) Specialists have gone through a process of recovery and have obtained peer support related training to assist others with mental health challenges to identify and achieve life goals as part of their own recovery. The Peer Support (Housing) Specialist uses empowerment and Recovery-oriented approaches with individuals and groups to help combat stigma, raise self esteem and mastery, improve self concept, and instill hope.

In addition to compliance with all organizational policies and procedures, the incumbent is also expected to behave ethically, demonstrate competence in effective communication and team building, demonstrate effectiveness in working in a collaborative environment, and demonstrate confidence in decision-making and in building relationships.

The Peer Support (Housing) Specialist may be assigned to different programs as required based on need.

• A degree or diploma in the health or social services, or equivalent experience
• Personal experience in recovery from mental health and/or addictions is required
• Past experience of homelessness is preferred
• Experience liaising with landlords as an advocate for tenants or precariously housed individuals is preferred
• A second language (French, Cantonese, Farsi, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, Tamil, Urdu) reflecting the local community is preferred.
• Ability to apply Recovery principles and empowerment-oriented philosophies and practices in work with consumers
• Ability to observe boundaries, engage in appropriate emotional regulation, refrain from dual relationships with consumers or landlords, maintain confidentiality, and engage in reasonable self-care strategies designed to reduce stress by balancing work/life responsibilities
• Knowledge of the Ontario Mental Health Act, mental health reform principles, the Substitute Decisions Act, the Health Care Consent Act and PHIPA requirements
• Extensive knowledge of supports and services in York Region, including formal and informal resources
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Ability to demonstrate computer skills, specifically Microsoft Office and Outlook
• A valid Canadian driver’s license, a minimum $1,000,000 third party liability insurance and proof that insurance covers use of personal vehicle to transport clients
• A satisfactory and current Vulnerable Sector Screening
This position reports to and is supervised by the Program Manager.

Working Conditions:
Office work, community settings, meetings in clients home and travel with clients
Disclaimer: In keeping with mental health reform, best practices, funding and direction this position may later require knowledge, skills, abilities and working conditions not noted here.

Why work for CMHA York Region?

We are team committed to our vision of mentally healthy people in a healthy society. That means we respect that our clients are the experts in their recovery journey and our role is to provide support, resources and opportunities based on their hopes and dreams. It means that we foster and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit to create, implement and sustain innovative, evidence based and transformational impact. We seek out and build partnerships, collaborate and share knowledge to be the most culturally competent team and fully integrated service delivery partner.

Our team cares for each other. We have our own team values of trust, respect, teamwork and communication. We hold ourselves accountable and we celebrate our wins. Because we risk, we learn and we take the opportunity and time to constantly improve our skills, the way we function as a team and ultimately deliver services. We are a team committed to mental health for all. Join us and be part of providing great care in great communities!

Application Procedures:
If you are interested in this opportunity, please follow the link on this posting or visit the Career section of our website. Complete the application form and submit cover letter and resume (PDF or Word) together as one (1) document / attachment in the Resume section, outlining how your experience matches our requirements, to the Human Resources Department quoting Competition # 201737.

CMHA, York Region Branch supports the recovery of people with mental illness and promotes diversity in the workplace. We welcome consumers, women, aboriginal people, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ, visible minority and immigrant communities to apply.

To request this posting in an alternate format or to request accommodation in the application process, email

Online:, under CAREERS section.

While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those selected for an interview will be contacted

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