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Peer Specialist


Provides a broad array of counseling/support services to individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, have frequent contact with the mental health or substance use system and criminal justice systems. Shares personal, practical experience, knowledge, and first hand insight to benefit program enrollees.

  • Educates clients about self-help techniques. Serves as a role model and mentor to clients.

  • Shares personal, practical experience, knowledge, and first hand insight to benefit program enrollees.

  • Provides peer health navigation services to help clients connect with community-based services and supports.

  • Builds relationship and trust with client and his/her family of choice and assists with their interactions with professionals on the team.

  • Acts as clients ‘Health Navigators’ to work with participants to develop and implement an individualized action plan, consults with caregivers and family members, and provides advocacy and guidance as they navigate the healthcare system.

  • Connects clients with community-based primary health care, substance abuse treatment, and preventative services.

  • Accompanies clients that require ancillary or specialty medical care to their scheduled appointments, as needed.

  • Advocates effective recovery based services on behalf of clients. Researches and provides linkages to resources within the community.

  • Teaches coping skills. Supports and encourages clients to take a proactive role in their recovery process.

  • Reviews service plans with clients and their families. Provides ongoing education, guidance, support and encouragement to clients and families.

  • Licensure: Valid drivers license may be required, as determined by operational/regional needs required.
  • Education: High school diploma or the equivalent required. NYC Peer Professional certificate or Provisional certificate required within one year of hire.
  • Experience: Minimum of one year experience in a mental health, health care or human services setting required.
  • Experience as a recipient of mental health services required. Experience with substance use services or the criminal justice system required.


The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) is the nation's largest not-for-profit home- and community-based health care organization, serving the five boroughs of New York City, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Countries. For over 125 years, VNSNY has been committed to improving the health and well-being of people through high-quality, cost effective healthcare in the home and community. We offer a wide range of services, programs, and health plans to meet the diverse needs of our patients, members, and clients from before birth to the end of life. Each day, more than 13,000 VNSNY employees - including nurses, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, other allied professionals, and paraprofessionals - deliver compassionate care, unparalleled medical expertise, and 24/7 solutions and resources to more than 44,000 patients and members, helping them to live the best lives possible in their homes and communities.