Services for the Underserved

Respite Specialist

Treatment Services
Regular Full-Time

Position Overview

Company Overview:We envision a city where everyone has a roof over their head, is healthy, productive and can enjoy the social connections that create a life of purpose. Founded in 1978, Services for the UnderServed (SUS) works with more than 25,000 individuals and families to create pathways to rich and productive lives by offering housing, employment, skills-building, treatment and rehabilitation. By delivering high quality services that address the complex circumstances of each person, we transform lives, improve neighborhoods and boost future generations. With a staff of 2,000, SUS is supported by various local, state and federal government agencies as well as foundations, corporations and individuals donors.
Providing close to $200 Million in services, SUS is headquartered in New York City and operates its programs and services throughout the 5 boroughs


Position Summary:

The Crisis Respite Center (CRC), part of Parachute NYC, provides an innovative and unique “hospital diversion” model whereby persons seeking temporary residential/respite care can stay in a warm, friendly, safe, and supportive home-like environment where they are taught to use new recovery and relapse preventions kills.  This is achieved through 24-hour peer support, self-advocacy education, self-help training, and mutual understanding.  The CRC offers people experiencing a psychosis-related crisis with a short-term (one day to two weeks)residential alternative that will allow individuals to maintain daily activities and connect with community-based services and supports, including primary care.  The program will provide recovery oriented services incorporating Need Adapted Treatment and Intentional Peer Support.  


Parachute NYC is an innovative CMS funded pilot project designed to support a continuum of community based services for individuals experiencing a psychosis related crisis, including specially trained mobile crisis teams and Crisis Respite Centers.



  • Develop a partnership with guests experiencing crisis utilizing trauma-informed, recovery oriented, intentional peer support,
  • Promote the provision of a safe, comfortable, secure and trusting environment where guests are listened to  and respected by staff
  • Practice the Need Adapted Treatment Model (NATM) and Intentional Peer Support (IPS) after completing training provided as part of the Parachute NYC grant
  • Draw on knowledge and skills acquired from personal experience with the mental health system with a focus on guest’s personal recovery process
  • Create a sense of community through the mutual sharing of lived experiences and offers encouragement and support to participate in daily activities within the CRC and community
  • Assist with pre-registration process for both individuals referred from NA-MCT (Need Adapted Mobile Crisis Team) and those who self-refer (respite-only guests)
  • Assist with intake and registration of new guests, including an explanation of services and expectations, a tour of the premises, introduction to other staff and guests
  • Assist and collaborate with other Parachute NYC staff when appropriate to help guests identify, plan for and realize short-term personal goals and priorities while in the CRC
  • Facilitate individual and group-based educational, recovery, wellness and skill building opportunities including: wellness self-management; WRAP; peer support; harm reduction; and other social or leisure activities
  • Follow-up with guests to monitor and support progress toward goal-achievement
  • Advocates for and facilitate access to needed health care services, proactively addressing potential barriers such as missed appointments, transportation, fear and stigma, and communication with professional staff
  • Assist guests with steps required to prepare their own meals, manage their own medication, take care of their physical needs and participate in the maintenance of a clean living environment
  • Responsible for timely and accurate documentation including documentation of interactions with guests, services provided, critical information and events, contacts with collaterals and referrals, as required by SUS policies and Parachute NYC
  • Provide household upkeep duties as needed
  • Serve daily cold breakfast for guests and assist guests with accessing snacks, when needed
  • Encourage guest participation in relevant aspects of documentation process
  • Participates in data collection and recording related to outcomes, research and other agency and grant-based priorities
  • Participate in supervision, team meetings, interagency meetings, case conferences, NA-MCT meetings, and other relevant meetings as required by SUS and Parachute NYC
  • Provides flexible evening, night, weekend and holiday coverage

Benefits Overview: We offer attractive compensation with comprehensive benefits including: Medical/Dental/Prescription/Vision/Life Insurance;403(b); Credit Union; FSAs; Short-and-Long-Term Disability; Transportation Plan; Generous Paid Vacations and Holidays



  • Work experience in a behavioral health or related setting, preferably using the recovery model
  • Have lived experience with the mental health system and willingness to share personal experience appropriately and respectfully
  • Graduate of core peer specialist training program, preferred but not required
  • Minimum of high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
  • A respect for, and high level of comfort around people experiencing psychiatric crisis
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills including empathic listening, responding
  • Ability to utilize critical thinking, problem-solving and de-escalation skills to assist with creating and maintaining an environment that promotes recovery
  • Ability to utilize various computer programs, specifically Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Bilingual- Spanish highly preferred





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