Peer Counselor (Street Crisis Response Team)
Job Details
Peer Based Services Division - San Francisco, CA
$27.00 Hourly

Division of Peer-Based Services

Street Crisis Response Team

Peer Counselor


Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) is a private, non-profit comprehensive mental health agency that is committed to providing community-based, culturally competent, and consumer-driven services that meet the behavioral health, social, vocational, and educational needs of the diverse community of the San Francisco Area.  At the forefront of the peer provider profession, RAMS offers culturally congruent peer counseling & support, outreach, resource linkage, and education & training throughout San Francisco.  Peer providers are also engaged in workforce & professional development activities and engage in behavioral health wellness promotion & outreach.  RAMS programs uphold principles of wellness and recovery with an approach that is strengths-based and promotes a sense of empowerment, self-direction, and hope.


About the Team:  The Street Crisis Response Team (SCRT) is part of a co-responder model assigned to triaged 911 calls for non-violent, behavioral health issues on the streets of San Francisco, as an alternative to police response. The SCRT team, comprised of a SFFD Paramedic, Behavioral Health Clinician and a Peer Counselor will respond to calls of suicide & self-harm in public settings - individuals who present as disoriented, delusional and/or intoxicated. In addition to behavioral health assessments and de-escalation, the SCRT is qualified to provide basic medical treatment (e.g wound care, prevention of infection) to reduce the need for hospital care and decrease the chances of furthering mental health decompensation. Once the level of care is assessed, individuals may be escorted to a hospital, shelter or to a safer location appropriate to their health needs.

**This project is part of the Mental Health SF legislation and is funded for 18 months, with an opportunity to extend up to 10 years, with budget approval from the City & County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors.**


Job Title: Peer Counselor

Status:  Full-time or Part-time

Salary: $27.00 per hour (negotiable); depends on experience

No. of Openings:  Multiple

Schedules Available: Sunday - Saturday between 9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. (8 hour shifts)

Benefits: Health insurance (20 hrs or more/week) or SF HCSO contributions (per city/county ordinances)



Job Summary:  This Peer Counselor role in the Street Crisis Response Team is to provide peer support & compassionate care to the individual identified in need of a crisis response. The Peer Counselor may utilize applicable lived experience and other skills to establish trust, ensure safety and reduce trauma that clients experience


Essential Job Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide culturally competent peer counseling services to individuals experiencing non-violent, behavioral health crisis in public settings in San Francisco.
  • Work collaboratively with SCRT team members to quickly assess the needs of individuals experiencing mental health crisis in public settings & assist with the response plan.
  • Follow Wellness & Trauma Informed principles and utilize lived experience to establish peer support.
  • Follow safety training protocols while working in the community.
  • Utilize knowledge of harm reduction principles, crisis, de-escalation techniques, Seeking Safety skills, CPR & First Aid; prepare Electronic Health Records (AVATAR, Epic) documentation, attend required trainings.
  • Work in coordination with DPH Street Medicine teams, primary care clinics, psychiatric care services and shelters across the city to provide linkage and care as follow up for the individuals in crisis.
  • Follow the team protocol in supporting the client while calling and awaiting police response for 5150 codes.
  • Must be able to demonstrate a high level of resilience and self-care as part of maintaining wellness in a high crisis and first responder position.
  • Maintain timely administrative and service documentation for client care and program-related monitoring, per RAMS policies and oversight agencies requirements (e.g. DPH, etc.).
  • Develop/maintain clear, open, timely, cooperative, and collaborative communication & working relations with all staff, clients, and partner agencies
  • Represent RAMS at stakeholder meetings to provide feedback about best practices of street-based peer services and experiences of the SCRT roving team.
  • Participate in supervision meetings, case conferences, staff meetings, in-service training and other staff development activities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • High school diploma (or GED).; AA degree or higher from an accredited institution, highly preferred
  • At least 2-3 years of direct personal experience with the community behavioral health system, preferably in San Francisco
  • Completion of a mental health certificate program (or equivalent education) AND/OR two years of peer counseling or related experience, working with diverse constituencies - preferably homeless populations.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Wellness and Recovery & Harm Reduction treatment models, crisis and de-escalation interventions, Wellness-Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), Seeking Safety, self-help; addiction counseling, understanding of substance use issues.
  • CPR & First Aid Certification, highly preferred
  • Must be able to travel to and from worksite and other locations within San Francisco
  • Must be able to walk/stand in SF neighborhoods up to 75% of any assigned shifts. Note:  The team will be transported in vans to crisis call locations
  • Ability to lift or carry up to 25 lbs., approximately 25% of the assigned shift


Other Preferred Qualifications:   

  • Prior experience in outreach/engagement to targeted at-risk populations.
  • Personal lived experience & prior employment working with those struggling with mental health conditions, alcohol or other drug abuse, and homelessness
  • Previous professional experience in crisis response or crisis intervention roles.
  • Excellent communication and organization skills; ability to present feedback in a positive and empowering manner.
  • Strong organization & management skills; ability to interact professionally with diverse, multi-cultural, interdisciplinary program staff, community partners, and behavioral health consumers.
  • Strong knowledge and experience with service delivery documentation (including counseling/treatment planning), HIPAA standards, utilization review, and data management.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • Familiarity with community behavioral health systems of care in San Francisco, including the philosophy of care, levels of care for clinical services, and the delivery of such services.
  • Familiarity with the SF community resources/services for health, mental health, substance abuse, vocational rehabilitation, housing, and other services.
  • Strong commitment to the philosophy, goals, & mission of RAMS in providing community-based, culturally competent, and consumer-guided mental health services to the community
Thank you for submitting your application to Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS).  Should your experience and qualifications be a strong match for the position, a Hiring Manager will be in contact with you directly.  
Again, thank you for your interest in employment at RAMS!