Urban Alchemy,

Mental Health Counselor

24 days ago
Employment type
Full-Time, Part-Time
Los Angeles
Closing date

About this organization

Urban Alchemy, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, is proud to have embarked on an innovative, alternative-to-policing program that is human-centered and evidence-based to respond to our most vulnerable neighbors in crisis. We believe this program to be ground-breaking, so we are seeking Mental Health Counselors who strongly desire to make an impact to the lives of individuals in need, as well as be part of a greater movement to help shift our society’s viewpoint about our most vulnerable citizens and how they should be treated. The CIRCLE Program is the first of its kind in California, as it has been established to provide contact and intervention to Los Angeles’ most vulnerable residents – Angelenos who are unhoused and living in extreme poverty. In the past, unhoused neighbors were the most likely citizens to come into contact with law enforcement. These interactions with law enforcement can further traumatize those experiencing homelessness, failing to lead to critical referrals for care and resources, which exacerbates the cycle between homelessness and the criminal justice system, in turn pulling resources away from traditional law enforcement efforts.

The CIRCLE program is making waves in providing an alternative response to non-emergency 911 calls involving unhoused individuals in Hollywood, Venice, and other highly impacted areas within Los Angeles. Mental Health Counselor led Crisis Response Teams provide a 24/7 to respond to PEH-related non-emergency calls from LAPD’s internal 911 system and the LAPD non-emergency community line. In addition to having an active presence in the community, CIRCLE teams will operate decompression centers in each area of operation, where services for PEH who need respite from the street are provided. CIRCLE teams are not armed or provide any law enforcement duties.

About this job

Mental Health Counselor will be responsible for leveraging their knowledge and skill in identifying psychiatric symptomatology, assessment, intervention and treatment planning to assist their teams by providing mental health services to People Experiencing Homelessness, who are the subject of CIRCLE dispatch calls. Upon assessing the individual, MHC will provide short-term crisis intervention, that is trauma-informed, harm reduction focused, and rooted in respect and kindness. MHC is responsible for utilizing evidence-based practices, which validate the importance of lived experience in the ability to relate and effectively communicate with PEH’s and other individuals in emotional distress resulting from mental illness, trauma, or ingested substances. MHC and the Crisis Response Team works to de-escalating high-conflict situations to create a safe and calm interaction, while assessing and determining if the situation requires further intervention by your team or another community partner. MHC will be supervised by CIRCLE Clinical Director who will be available remotely by phone throughout all shifts worked by MHC.

Roles & responsibilities

-Engage with individuals in distress to assess the cause of their distress, determine strategies that will be useful in decreasing distress, support individuals to resolve any identified issues, de-escalate potential or existing conflicts and/or heightened emotions, and support individuals to connect to supportive services, as appropriate

-Work collaboratively as part of alternative response team to address non-violent, behavioral health crisis calls triaged by LAPD's 9-1-1 system

-Provide culturally-competent, trauma-informed, gender-responsive, and person-centered mental health and substance use assessment, intervention, de- escalation, or harm reduction and arrange appropriate follow up as part of CIRCLE, specifically for individuals experiencing non-violent, behavioral health crisis

-Assess for suicidality, homicidal intent, violence risk, grave disability, and substance

use using appropriate measurements, including C-SRRS, Mini Mental Status Exam, Kessler Psychological Distress Scale and other applicable assessment tools

-Show competency in use of Narcan for opioid overdose reversal

-Maintain strong working knowledge of DSM-V diagnostic criteria, particularly for substance use, PTSD/Acute Stress, psychotic, panic, bipolar, mood, and personality disorders, as appropriate

-Provide 1-on-1 services at the Decompression Centers, including referral to long-term care such as mental health services, medical care, housing, employment, etc.


- Masters Degree in Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology, or other related discipline

-Registration (ACSW, AMFT, APCC) or Registration-eligible with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences or Board of Psychology

To apply

To apply, please send your update resume to CIRCLE Program Manager, Katherine Napoleon via email katherinenapoleon@urban-alchemy.us with the subject: MHC Job Opening or apply using the link provided below

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