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Substance Abuse Specialist, III (JR 1375) Veteran Services

Los Angeles, California · Volunteering/Non-Profit
JOB ID: 1375
Full Time
Wage: (DOE)



The Substance Use Disorder Specialist will work with Veterans as part of the HUD VASH intensive case management program. Case management is recovery oriented and integrates evidenced based practices to assist individuals with long-term housing sustainability. The Substance Use Disorder Specialist works as part of a team with Veterans to address any barriers towards permanent housing and community integration.
This includes completing a substance use assessment using harm reduction model and helping to identify positive interventions to improve the Veteran’s quality of life. Through motivational interviewing and the Substance Use Disorder Specialist helps increase opportunities and linkages to community resources to decrease social isolation while addressing behavioral health and substance abuse needs throughout the process.  The Substance Use Disorder Specialist is responsible for collaborating with the Veteran and the team to develop a comprehensive Individualized Care Plan (ISP) with Veterans upon intake to identify needed services and goals and direct care coordination while the Veteran is in the program. The Substance Use Disorder Specialist follows established low barrier guidelines to create a safe and stable environment for Veterans entering the program. The Substance Use Disorder Specialist makes referrals as needed to harm reduction programs, accompanies Veterans to appointments as requested and ensures Veterans have access to supportive services as identified in the Individual Service Plan (individual and group counseling, AA/NA Meetings, family counseling, etc.).


The following reflects management’s definition of essential functions for this job but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned.  Management may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

Supportive Services

  • Perform initial comprehensive substance use assessment; develop a plan of intervention that addresses on-going case management services, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and coordination of needed community services.
  • Develop individualized care plan in collaboration with team and Veteran addressing short term and long term goals. Provide on-going case management support to assess progress and ensure treatment plan outcomes are met or changed as needed.
  • Meet at least weekly with Veterans to provide therapeutic supportive case management services addressing functional and substance use barriers as needed to help clients obtain and maintain housing.
  • Conduct crisis and suicide risk assessment, provide appropriate interventions as needed and consult with LCSW supervisor, complete critical incident reporting with 24 hours as required per contract and PATH policies.
  • Provide crisis intervention services focused on enhancing the clients’ ability to independently problem solve, utilize effective coping skills, and manage and self -coordinate own care.
  • Provide intentional case management supports that move the client from a high intensive level of service to a more independent, recovery focused level of service as appropriate.
  • Utilize evidence based practices in service delivery such as intensive case management, Motivational Interviewing and Harm Reduction.
  • Support Veterans who have difficulty with sobriety in making safer choices (ex. Needle exchange).


  • Maintain documentation standards as set forth by the program contract and PATH policies.
  • Complete progress notes on every face to face/ telephone contact with client or collateral contact within 24 hours.


  • Bachelor’s degree with at least five years of experience providing substance use case management services in a non-profit, for profit, government or public service environment.
  • Maintain and execute confidential information according to HIPAA standards.
  • Homeless services, case management, mental health and permanent supportive housing experience preferred.
  • Flexible work schedule to include some evenings and/or weekends as needed.
  • Ability to provide PATH after hours telephone coverage on a rotating basis as needed.
  • Must possess a high level of tolerance and understanding for individuals who present for services with urgent multiple case management and health needs.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team environment and exercise mature judgment.
  • Ability to provide community and in-home based services on a regular basis.
  • Current Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Highly motivated self- starter with the ability to coordinate multiple projects/ tasks simultaneously in a high pressure environment.

Required Qualifications

  • Employment Eligibility Verification
  • Reliable transportation
  • Updated tuberculosis test
  • Successful completion of background screening
  • CPR/First Aid certification
  • Driving is an essential function of this position
    • Must have Valid CA Driver's License
    • Must provide proof of insurance coverage
    • Must be able to qualify for PATH insurance coverage

Effective 11/01/2021 PATH will require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. All prospective hires will be expected to provide proof of vaccination as part of the pre-employment credentialing process. 

Work Environment
The employee may be in contact with individuals and families in crisis who may be ill, using alcohol and drugs, and who may not be attentive to basic personal hygiene, health and safety practices. The employee may experience a number of unpleasant sensory demands associated with the client’s use of alcohol and drugs, and lack of personal hygiene. The employee must be ready to respond quickly and effectively to many types of situations, including crisis situations and potentially hostile situations. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate in an office setting. Sometimes work may become stressful when working under pressure.
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. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, stoop, talk, hear, reach above and below shoulders; use hand and finger dexterity, keyboarding and making and receiving telephone calls. The employee may be required on occasion to lift and or carry up to 20 lbs.
PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, PATH complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

How to apply Please visit the Path Career Site to apply online. Search for Job #1375 to submit your application. A resume is required.
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