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The Contributor, Inc.

Peer Support Specialist – SOAR

The Contributor, Inc.


Job Summary

The Contributor is excited to announce an opportunity to join our team on a new project aimed at creating sustainable, positive change for some of our community’s most vulnerable and unhoused members. This initiative collaborates closely with local hospitals and other nonprofit partners to support individuals who are uninsured and experiencing homelessness and chronic health conditions, particularly those relying on local emergency departments for care.

For this demonstration project, we are looking for passionate individuals who are committed to making a tangible difference in people’s lives through innovative approaches and dedicated teamwork. This role is ideal for someone who values compassion, curiosity, and resilience and is looking for an opportunity to apply their skills and experiences towards addressing complex challenges in healthcare and housing.

Please note that this position is full-time but part of a time-limited demonstration project, with stable funding secured for a duration of up to two years. This project represents an opportunity to be at the forefront of prototyping and implementing solutions that could shape future policies and practices in our community and elsewhere.

The Contributor seeks team members with a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding the mental health system, the homeless system, and other public systems, gained through lived experience of those systems or close personal connection. We believe lived experience improves our decision-making, empathy, and effectiveness.

Job Responsibilities

Outreach and Engagement

  • Conduct outreach to unhoused individuals in various settings (including day shelters, meal programs, encampments, emergency shelters, emergency departments, etc), establishing rapport and building trusting relationships. This position requires an in-person, onsite presence during the hours of 8a-4 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Engage unhoused patients or former patients who have received care in emergency departments at local hospitals. Use strategies to engage and maintain contact with those patients outside of the ER and partner with them to obtain disability benefits (SSI/SSDI) if likely eligible, any other entitlements and benefits, and other resources like outpatient healthcare, housing, and other basic needs and supports.
  • Use open-ended questions, affirmations, reflective listening, summary statements, and other interviewing skills to have respectful, hopeful, and helpful conversations with clients.
  • As a Certified Peer Support Specialist, utilize your personal lived experience with homelessness and mental health challenges to connect with clients, providing peer support and fostering a sense of hope and empowerment.

Care Coordination and SOAR Critical Components

  • Build and maintain effective business relationships with clinicians in local emergency departments to coordinate referrals and care. Maintain contact and communicate proactively and professionally with healthcare providers and project partners from different organizations to coordinate comprehensive care plans with clients. Participate in street medicine rounds.
  • Interview clients to listen and gather personal narrative information, medical information as needed, and signed release forms and other documentation that are required to obtain disability benefits (SSI/SSDI). Focus on understanding and addressing the root causes of the client’s health-related social needs.
  • Use the critical components of SOAR to provide SSI/SSDI disability application assistance including serving as an applicant’s representative, collecting and submitting medical records for the applicant, and writing and submitting medical summary reports.
  • Refer clients to available outpatient health services and other supports.
  • Coordinate transportation and/or provide transportation to healthcare-related appointments. May need to provide transportation for clients in their personal vehicle or a commercial vehicle (owned or leased by The Contributor) if available.
  • Maintain accurate and confidential documentation of client interactions and progress by organizational policies.

Advocacy Efforts

  • Elicit client’s own goals for their health and well-being and partner with them to pursue goals.
  • Provide education and advocacy on mental health issues, homelessness, and available community resources.


  • Work Experience: For this role, we value on-the-job experience over academic credentials. Previous work or volunteer experience helping others is valuable. Demonstrated trust-building traits like empathy strong listening skills and problem-solving skills are desired.
  • Lived Experience: The Contributor seeks team members with a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding the mental health system, the homeless system, and other public systems gained through the lived experience of those systems or close personal connections. We seek team members who come from the same community as clients or at least share life experiences with them. We believe lived experience improves our decision-making, empathy, and effectiveness.
  • Certification/Training: Has obtained or is willing to obtain a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) certification. Has completed or is willing to complete training for SOAR (SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access, and Recovery). Is willing to receive Motivational Interviewing training and guidance on a regular basis.
  • Education: Holds a high school diploma or equivalent; additional education or training in social work, psychology, or related fields is preferred.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Exhibits strong interpersonal communication skills to engage effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and traditions.
  • Knowledge: Has a familiarity with local homeless and health resources, housing programs, and community services. Has experience using email Microsoft and Google products.
  • Flexibility: Works flexible hours to accommodate the needs of clients and the organization.
  • Advocacy: Advocates for clients and effectively communicate their needs to service providers and community partners.
  • Ethical Standards: Adhere to professional and ethical standards, ensuring confidentiality and treating everyone with respect and dignity.
  • Commitment: Exhibits a passion and commitment to the organization’s mission and values. Has experience and/or a curious interest in working in non-profit spaces and trauma-informed care settings.

Additional Information


Benefits and Schedule

This position requires an in-person, onsite presence during the hours of 8a-4 pm, Monday through Friday. Compensation for this role is competitive within Nashville’s nonprofit sector and commensurate with experience. In addition to pay, we offer 100% paid individual medical insurance and contributions to dental, vision, and 403b retirement. We also plan for generous time off including holidays.

The Contributor is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people from all backgrounds, including but not limited to, those from underrepresented groups, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experiences and perspectives. The Contributor is committed to creating an inclusive workplace where diversity is celebrated, and where we can bring our whole selves to our community. We recognize the value and strength that differences can bring to our mission.

How to Apply

Please apply by sending a resume and cover letter to info@thecontributor.org. The hiring process will include at least two virtual or in-person interviews.


  • Date Posted: March 20, 2024
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Programs and Service Delivery
  • Service Area: Health (Physical, Mental)
  • Working Hours: 40 hrs/wk; M-F, 8a-4p