Peer Counselor/Adv.

Job Locations US-NY-Queens Village
Position Number
Regular Part-Time
FLSA Status




Peer Counselors provide direct services, advocacy, and support to residents of the Shelter. They serve as role models for residents and educate them about self-help techniques and self-help group process; teach them effective coping strategies, sometimes based on personal experience; assist them in clarifying their goals for rehabilitation and recovery; and help them to develop support systems.  Incumbents perform a range of tasks which are designed to assist residents in regaining personal control over their lives and over their own recovery processes.  Tasks focus on facilitating the development of self-help skills, support systems, coping strategies, and the increased hope and self-esteem that are central to recovery . Peer Counselors model competence and the possibility of recovery, and assist residents in developing the perspectives and skills that facilitate recovery. 




To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty listed satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions unless this causes undue hardship to the agency.


  1. Encourage and assist residents to participate in physical, social, recreational, educational, and other rehabilitation goals to facilitate the residents’ recovery/healing and their fuller participation in the life of their family and community.
  2. Assist the Recovery Specialist/Social Worker staff and Case Managers in running wellness and community integration groups.
  3. Assist residents with applications for services such as: Access-A-Ride, HRA, Social Security, MTA half-fare cards and other benefits and entitlements in collaboration with the Entitlements Counselor.
  4. Assist the Recreation Counselor and Unit Counselors in using neighborhoods for recreational-based incentive programs.
  5. Provide motivational interviewing to residents as needed.
  6. Participate in length-of-stay reviews.
  7. Help residents to identify and access community resources both prior to and after moving into non- transitional housing.
  8. Encourage resident socialization both in and out of Transitional Residence for Veterans.
  9. Facilitate self-help groups.
  10. Assist the recovery Counselors/Social Workers in the facilitation of gender-specific groups that address gender- related community reintegration and adaptation issues that include gender role identity, socialization skills development, family relationship, intimacy, and sex education issues.
  11. Advocate on behalf of residents in the facility and in the community.
  12. Escort residents to appointments if they want such support to maintain service continuity.
  13. Participate in wellness self-management and other recovery-oriented groups.
  14. Interact with residents in assigned neighborhoods.
  15. Assist residents in the neighborhood with meeting their daily living needs; assist in developing the spirit, values and culture of the neighborhoods.
  16. Responsible for all communication to residents.
  17. Welcoming new residents, introducing them to their neighbors and orienting them to the values, rules, expectations and tasks of the neighborhood.
  18. Assist with assigning tasks, including light cleaning, maintenance of a neighborhood message board, meal service and wake-up call to residents a daily neighborhood meeting.
  19. Assist in the orientation of new personnel when requested.
  20. Observe residents’ behavior and specific responses to services and report observations orally and/or in writing, including computer entries, as instructed and in accordance with applicable standards; maintain up-to-date, accurate individual paper and electronic case records on peer-counselor-related activities.
  21. Comply with attendance and timekeeping rules and report reliably and regularly to work on an on-going basis.
  22. Attend regularly scheduled clinical meetings, case conferences, staff meetings and supervision as well as in-service training and development activities.
  23. Review the staff communications log and make entries concerning essential elements of information designated by program management.
  24. Obtain and maintain CPR and First Aid certifications.
  25. May have on-call responsibilities.
  26. Comply and promote compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and agency policies helping to strengthen and maintain an ethical organizational culture.
  27. Perform other job-related duties that may be assigned.



  • Knowledge of how disabilities can adversely affect functioning and ways to cope with or overcome such effects
  • Ability to work with residents, families, and staff in a caring and respectful manner, and with due understanding of and consideration for cultural differences
  • Ability to complete written forms and reports in an accurate and timely manner, manually and by computer.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff, consumers/residents, families, and the public.
  • Ability to accompany or transport residents (some assignments may require possession of a valid driver's license).
  • Ability to be empathetic and supportive to residents instructing, demonstrating, modeling, and encouraging appropriate behavior and skills
  • Ability to secure and maintain certification for Standard First Aid and CPR.



Please note that preference will be given to  former residents of the Borden Ave. Veteran’s Residence who meet the minimum qualifications below and who have transitioned to permanent housing and   who are successfully employed..

  • Ability to read and write at least at a 12th grade level and to follow written and oral instructions
  • Completion of an internship or comparable training in peer advocacy; experience in providing advocacy services to people who are homeless and/or who have disabilities
  • Current or former recipient of mental health, substance abuse and/or homelessness services




  • Certified Peer Specialist
  • High School diploma or GED
  • Military Veteran  

This position description is a guide to the critical duties and essential functions of the job, not an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, qualifications, physical demands, and work environment conditions. Position descriptions are reviewed and revised to meet the changing needs of the agency at the sole discretion of the management.



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