Peer Support Specialist – HIV / Behavioral Health – Quest Center – Portland, OR


Quest Center is a nonprofit healthcare clinic that provides multidisciplinary and integrative healthcare in a community-based setting to all people, regardless of income. We are licensed by the state of Oregon as a mental health and substance abuse program. We believe that people thrive when their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs are effectively met.

To this aim, Quest Center offers a wide range of programs and services for individuals to draw from when creating their personalized treatment plan. Such services are offered in a manner that creates a functional community among our clients and sustains their continued healing from both physical and mental illness. All of our programs share the same philosophy, mission, and values, while honoring the diversity of its participants.

We work to assist our clients to sustain lifestyle changes that support healing, and to effectively strengthen those diagnosed with chronic or life-challenging illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, mental health disorders, chemical dependency, and cancer. We are proud to be recognized for our service delivery to the LGBTQ community.


The goal of the PSS program is to support to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in their efforts to access and remain engaged in Substance Use and Mental Health treatment. Using a model that values lived experience as a way to promote recovery, Quest is looking for a Certified Peer Support Specialist in recovery from mental illness or addiction who can serve as a resource for those experiencing similar issues.


This is a 28 hour/week (.7 FTE) position that reports to the HIV Services Program Coordinator. We are seeking an experienced Peer Support Specialist (PSS) to provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in their efforts to access and remain engaged in Substance Use and Mental Health services.

The Peer Support Specialist will work in collaboration with Quest Center staff to support HIV+ clients who are experiencing behavioral health issues such as substance abuse, depression, trauma-related stress, or anxiety. The PSS will make referrals to local treatment providers and help clients to navigate the mental healthcare and drug/alcohol abuse recovery systems, as these are critical to their stability and behavioral health engagement. Applicants in recovery from substance abuse must have a minimum of 2 years clean & sober.


Outreach to potential clients interested in, but perhaps not yet ready for, Behavioral Health services.
Apply person-centered principles of Intentional Peer Support to build relationships, trust, and rapport with clients.
Assess client needs and develop goal/action plans accordingly.
Utilize cultural competency, active listening, and motivational interviewing skills to assist clients in reaching their treatment goals.
Establish relationships with local treatment providers for an efficient referral process.
Collaborate with local treatment providers to coordinate services.
Collaborate with Quest Center staff for all internal referrals.
Travel with clients to and from appointments, as needed.
Assist clients in carrying out the activities to fulfill their goal plans and problem solve with clients to overcome challenges.
Complete chart notes for client encounters and submit all program paperwork in a professional, timely manner.
Work closely with internal and local Peer Support Specialists to maximize the quality of community service provision for PLWHA.
Maintain relationships and work collaboratively with community partner organizations.
Attend regular clinical supervision meetings.
Perform other duties as assigned/needed.


Knowledgeable about the lived experience of experiencing Substance Use and/or Mental Health issues such as depression, chemical dependency, or anxiety, and willingness to share that experience
Knowledgeable about the lived experience of being HIV+ and willingness to share that experience.
Must hold a Peer Support Specialist certification from a State-approved training program, OR be willing to become certified immediately.
Meets the definition of a Peer as defined by the State of Oregon Administrative Rule: a) self-identified person currently or formerly receiving mental health services; OR b) a self-identified person in recovery from a substance abuse disorder, who meet the abstinence requirements for recovering staff in alcohol and other drug treatment programs; OR c) A family member of an individual who is a current or former recipient of addictions or mental health services.
Familiarity with substance abuse and mental health resources/programs in the Portland Metro area.
Ability to manage time and meet deadlines.
Basic computer and keyboard proficiency using Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook) and working knowledge of the internet.
Ability to work with ethnic, racial, economic, and sexually diverse populations and persons who have experienced homelessness, persons with a mental illness and/or substance abuse.
Ability to work as a team member as well as independently.
Ability to maintain accurate records and necessary paperwork.
Ability to effectively interact with co-workers and clients with diverse backgrounds.
Bilingual English/Spanish preferred, but not required.
Exceptional applicants will have experience facilitating support groups
Applicants in recovery from substance abuse must have a minimum of 2 years clean & sober.
Must adhere to agency’s non-discrimination policies.

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in Quest Center, along with your resume and 2-3 references to In the subject line, reference “Peer Support Specialist”.