ASSIGNED TO:  Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST)

REPORTS TO:  Sober Sonoma Program Director

EMPLOYMENT STATUS:  Independent Contractor


STARTING SALARY:  Compensation Commensurate with Experience

Position Summary

The Sober Sonoma/HOST Street Outreach Worker is responsible for street outreach and client support for the Sober Sonoma program. The person will work as a part of the County of Sonoma’s Homeless Outreach Services Team, and report to the Sober Sonoma Program Director. Duties include identifying and reaching out or receiving referrals to and building trust with chronically intoxicated individuals who are not being served or are underserved by existing community service systems. In addition to engaging chronically intoxicated people to accept detoxification, treatment, housing or shelter, and support services for their health and safety, the Outreach Worker will follow and support these individuals to encourage them to remain in treatment, become better integrated into the community, and support them to pursue additional placement and stabilization opportunities. The Outreach Worker will collect data regarding these clients and services and share it with program evaluators. This position is a key part of the Sober Sonoma program coordinated by the countywide Health Care for the Homeless Collaborative (HCHC) convened by the Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless (Task Force).  The Outreach Worker will work exclusively on behalf of active or potential Sober Sonoma clients, will participate in the Sober Sonoma Governance meetings, and will attend the HOST, Health Care for the Homeless Collaborative and other Sober Sonoma meetings and activities as needed.

Essential Functions 

  1. Identify chronically intoxicated people via outreach and referral, build trust with them, assess their needs, and enter them into the Homeless Management Information System.
  2. Distribute needed outreach supplies to chronically intoxicated people, including but not limited to wound care and hygiene supplies, clothing, blankets, and socks.
  3. Perform well check of chronically intoxicated individuals on the street, assessing their vulnerability to dying outside.
  4. Identify acutely mentally ill clients and those with an evident risk of suicide or of harming others, and refer them immediately to Sonoma County Mental Health Emergency Services, to other mental health resources, or to legal authorities as needed.
  5. Collaborate with Coordinated Intake, Centerpoint-Drug Abuse Alternatives Center (DAAC), and other local services to place homeless individuals in detoxification, treatment, housing and supportive services, including securing a “medical home”.
  6. Partner and collaborate with staff, volunteers, and service partners to meet Sober Sonoma program needs and objectives.
  7. Assist chronically intoxicated people to complete appropriate applications and paperwork, and transport them to and between Detoxification, Residential Treatment, shelters, housing, medical and other services, and other points as needed.
  8. Assist clients with benefit applications as needed.
  9. Assist in securing storage as needed for belongings of chronically intoxicated individuals moved from encampments.
  10. Use Engagement, Assessment, and Referral as strategies for outreach including the following elements:Engagement:
      1. Build trust with chronically intoxicated individuals and assess their immediate health and safety needs
      2. Be sensitive to the willingness of the person to be engaged
      3. Engagement is non-threatening, flexible, and persistent
      4. Build upon respect for the person and his/her autonomy and confidentialityAssessment: Outreach workers will assess the individual’s:
      1. Safety, including potentially life-threatening situations;
      2. Immediate needs
      3. Level of functioning;
      4. Overall mental and physical health
      5. Strengths and capacities, including the capacity for making decisionsReferrals: Actively collaborate with other homeless services providers and community resources to facilitate access to services including:
      1. Substance abuse detoxification, residential treatment & outpatient treatment and education;
      2. Basic needs, including food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, and laundry;
      3. Housing assistance;
      4. Legal assistance;
      5. Securing a Medical Home, Health information and more.

11. Facilitate and maintain community relationships to create referral pathways for program participants into appropriate programs specific to that client’s needs.
12. Assist with screening of potential program participants for Coordinated Intake project.
13. Be thoroughly familiar with the policies and procedures guiding the work of this position in particular and the Sober Sonoma and HOST programs overall. Perform job functions in line with these policies and procedures.
14. Document client care and progress and provide appropriate data to the Sober Sonoma Program Evaluators and/or Governance Team; Collect data by month and report quarterly on outcomes.
15. Develop and manage a comprehensive working relationship with all stakeholders, elected officials and their staff, community activists, and clients.
16. Perform other related duties as assigned by the Sober Sonoma Program.
17. The Outreach Worker would be a mandated reporter of elder and child abuse.

Agency Culture:
What worked yesterday may not work today and will likely not work tomorrow. To thrive, we must incorporate new ways of thinking and embrace new practices. It is critical that all of us at the Task Force for the Homeless aspire to the following:

  • A commitment to the agency’s mission, vision, and values;
  • A commitment to excellence in everything we do;
  • A commitment to performance and quality improvement;
  • A commitment to outcomes and measured results;
  • A commitment to innovation and to what is possible.


Education, Experience, and Skills Required:

  1. High School diploma or GED equivalent required. Further education desirable. Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor Associate (CADCA), Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I), Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor II (CADC-II) or Associate’s Degree in psychology, social science, or similar area preferred.
  2. Six (6) months to two (2) years or more successful experience working with people who have serious substance abuse issues. Ability to break through long-term addicts’ resistance to treatment
  3. Six (6) months to two (2) years successful experience preferred working with landlords, local rental markets and/or housing sales.
  4. Demonstrated understanding of the causes of addiction and homelessness.
  5. Knowledge of Housing First programs.
  6. Strong written and verbal communication skills; organizational, conflict resolution and computer literacy.
  7. Cooperative, friendly, and helpful attitude with clients and co-workers. Ability to work closely with HOST, DAAC, and other service partners to ensure a positive, constructive environment within the program.
    8. A commitment to outcomes and measured results.
    9. A commitment to innovation and to what is possible.
    10. Ability to thrive in a flexible, fast-paced and growth-oriented environment, while maintaining a sense of humor and a positive, solution-oriented approach.
    11. Passion and enthusiasm for the mission of Sober Sonoma and its clients. 12. Possess valid driver’s license & state-required minimum of auto insurance.
    13. Computer literacy required, including experience with Excel, Outlook, Word, etc. Open to learning to use the Homeless Management Information System.
    14. Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred.
    15. Applicant must consent to a background check including fingerprinting prior to start of employment, and sign a waiver to consent to drug testing for specific substances.Physical Requirements:
    1. Requires ability to walk up to 3-4 hours per day with intermittent occasional sitting, standing, and bending.
    2. Occasionally may be required to lift items up to 10 pounds to a height up to 3 feet.
    3. Occasionally may be required to carry items up to 10 pounds for distances up to 500 ft.