Substance Abuse Counselor - Homeless Resource Center

San Francisco, CA
Full Time
Resource Center
Mid Level

The Mission Neighborhood Health Center (MNHC) is a non-profit, multi-site community health organization offering comprehensive health services in the Mission and Excelsior Districts of San Francisco.  The center offers primary health care services, adult medicine, pediatrics, family planning, OB/GYN, HIV and homeless services. 

We advocate for health equity and deliver innovative, high-quality services responsive to the neighborhoods and diverse communities we serve with a focus on the Latino Spanish-Speaking Communities.

The Mission Neighborhood Resource Center (MNRC) was founded in 2002 as a community response to the neighborhood's growing homeless population, the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center advocates for housing and resources to enhance the physical, social, emotional, and economic health of homeless residents in the 16th street corridor and surrounding Mission neighborhood. MNRC employs a service model based on harm-reduction principles and practices that focus on community building, basic human needs, and integrated health services for a diverse population as they move toward greater stability and well-being.

We are currently looking for qualified candidates for our Substance Abuse Counselor role. This position reports to the Behavioral Health Manager and is a Regular, Full Time, Non-Exempt role with a starting hourly wage of $26.00 to $30.00 with full benefits. 


Primary Objective:

In conjunction with a multidisciplinary team, the Substance Abuse Counselor will provide outreach, referrals, and crisis counseling with a focus on providing critical counseling which addresses the opioid epidemic and other illicit drugs that impact the center population entering the center for service. This position will provide clinical consultation to referrals in primary care clinic and behavioral health, that will address the need for treatment. 

Essential Functions/Responsibilities:

  1. Perform individual comprehensive assessment to referrals resources that can complement treatment for clients entering the MNHC/MNRC program.
  2. Collect information from collateral resources to aid in determining diagnosis and need for treatment.
  3. Based on assessment, make referrals to the most appropriate programs in an effort to help clients access the right level of care to best meet their treatment needs.
  4. Monitor client access to and involvement with treatment and other providers to help address barriers to treatment and the recovery process; followed up with clients within seven days of referral to assess process and client satisfaction within adjusting to the program.
  5. Model and support health and wellness activities and healthy coping skills for clients.
  6. Maintained working knowledge of drug and alcohol treatment agencies and programs and a list of resources that can be shared with clients and supporting staff in the center.
  7. Provide warm hand off to connect clients with MNRC programs and medical clinic and to access the San Francisco medical and behavioral health system programs as needed.
  8. Create a hospitable environment and provide services to clients with the utmost dignity and respect.
  9. Utilize a participant-centered, harm reduction model of services as well as abstinence and client center models.
  10. Maintain documentation for Substance Abuse activities as required by funding sources.
  11. Regularly review files and monitor activities of clients with follow-up contact in-person or via phone.
  12. Attend relevant meetings, including MNRC Care Coordination , clinical Meeting, Staff Meeting, and other meeting that are needed to support the program and clients entering in substance abuse counseling
  13. Provide Support groups in collaboration with supervisor
  14. Recommend a course of action and provide screening, support, and referral in collaboration with case management, primary care clinic staff and behavioral staff.


  1. BA in Social Sciences or related field, past experience working with homeless adults and dually and triple-diagnosed individuals desired.
  2. AA in Social Science or related field and past experience working with homeless adults and dually and triple-diagnosed individuals desired.
  3. Must be Addiction Treatment Counselor Certified (CATC), California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators Certified (CAADE), California Association of DUI Treatment Programs Certified (CADTP) or California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals Certified (CCAPP).  
  4. Past experience working with homeless adults and dually and triple-diagnosed individuals desired.
  5. Must be willing to provide support, advocacy and develop relationships following harm reduction principles with a very diverse homeless population, including Spanish speaking immigrants, day laborers, women, LGBT, African Americans, active drug users and people with mental illness and other disabilities.
  6. Ability to work with de-escalation techniques, conflict resolution and emergency response.
  7. Candidates must have good working knowledge of and a sensitivity to individuals with substance abuse and/or mental health issues such as: PTSD, psychosis, borderline behaviors, bi-polar, etc.; working knowledge of crisis intervention techniques and ability to implement them; and strong knowledge of social services and mental health resources for low-income adults.


To learn more about our organization, please visit our website at We offer a full range of benefits which includes the following:

  • Medical Insurance – MNHC pays 90-100% based on plan
  • Dental and Vision Insurance – free to employee
  • Life Insurance – free basic policy plus voluntary option
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for health & dependent care expenses
  • Commuter benefits for public transportation expenses
  • Vacation – 2 weeks (3 weeks after 5 yrs; 4 weeks after 8 yrs)
  • 12 Paid Holidays plus your birthday and 12 Sick Days each year
  • 40 hours Paid Educational Leave
  • 401k Retirement Savings Plan with Company Contribution

Mission Neighborhood Health Center is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer committed to fostering an inclusive environment for our diverse workforce. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, reproductive health decisions, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider employment for qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


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