Program Specialist

REPORTS TO:         Program Manager

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY:    Screen applications and interview clients. Weekly visits/check-ins with clients and hotel management.

SUPERVISES:                                  None

EXEMPT STATUS:                         Non Exempt

UNION STATUS:                             Union


  • Ensure upkeep of property
  • Document agreements, contracts, evictions, between Larkin Street, hotels, and clients
  • Carefully maintain the budget
  • Ensure positive relationships with hotels and Larkin Street
  • Calculate damages, key deposits, and clean up after client exits services
  • Act as liaison between client and hotel management
  • Ensure client maintains points of engagement while in services.


  • To engage successfully with a diverse client population who present with a myriad issues
  • To handle crisis situations though de-escalation techniques and assist clients as they process social and emotional problems.
  • To practice life skills training for youth through modeling, active counseling and motivational interviewing and facilitation of groups
  • To promote the wellness of the community through a harm reduction approach
  • To ensure the safety and security of all clients, staff, volunteers and the facility
  • Maintaining the cleanliness and operations of the facility including preparing and serving meals, cleaning bathrooms, maintaining storage areas and other tasks assigned by program management
  • To collect client information through intake and assessment, organize that information by entering data into paper-based and electronic-based data systems and obtain additional information by coordinating with other professional sources
  • To participate in professional development activities to enhances counselor skill levels
  • The Program Specialist will work in conjunction with other staff members and other agencies to ensure the continuum of services for clients.
  • The Program Specialist will also act as an advocate and point person to new youth entering the Lark-Inn.
  • Responsible for supporting program services within the milieu.  For example, crisis intervention or helping to maintain the safety of the program.
  • Responsible for contributing towards the care and welfare of staff and to the clients we serve.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Maintain professional standards of performance, demeanor and appearance at all times.
  • Perform tasks and responsibilities in a complete and timely manner, complying with agency policies and standards and conforming to the requirements of this job description.
  • Maintain a creative, team-building, cooperative approach to job performance and seek to bring a constructive, problem-solving orientation to all tasks.
  • Maintain a focus on the agency’s mission and work to promote the positive individual and social change goals it embodies.
  • Exercise discretion and professional judgment at all times keeping with the responsibilities carried personally and by the agency for the care and welfare of staff and to the youth in which we serve.
  • Actively strive to upgrade professional skills through engaging in appropriate professional training and experience.
  • Maintaining the strictest of confidentiality.
  • Ability to work with a diverse staff and excel in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Requires ability to lift, transfer, push/pull, maneuver, and reposition 25 lbs.
  • Ability to reach, bend and walk.
  • Finger manipulation.
  • Ability to comprehend complex materials.
  • Ability to speak and write English clearly and accurately.


  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience, in Counseling, Psychology or Social Work.


  • 2-3 years of experience working with high-risk youth in a shelter and/or transitional or supportive housing program(s).
  • Working knowledge of Harm Reduction and the issues facing homeless youth including substance use, mental health issues, the foster care and juvenile justice systems.
  • A self-starter with the ability to follow-through on tasks.
  • A clean driving record and CA Driver’s License (able to qualify for a CDL)
  • Bi-Lingual in Spanish a plus.

This position is represented by SEIU 1021 under a collective bargaining agreement.

Larkin Street reserves the right to revise job descriptions or work hours as required.


  • Competitive Salary & Excellent Benefits:
  • Starting at DOE
  • Choice of Kaiser medical plans, plus dental and vision- (with coverage at no cost for one of the Kaiser and Dental plans as well as Vision for Employees only)
  • Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible spending accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Vacation- (starting at 3 weeks, increasing to 5 weeks by year five)
  • Sick time
  • 11 Paid Holidays + Floating Holidays
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Health Advocate Service
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Paid Sabbatical following 5 years of employment
  • 403(b) retirement plan


Submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] then in the Subject Box please indicate the position that you are applying for.

Larkin Street Youth Services is an equal opportunity employer. Larkin Street Youth Service seeks qualified candidates with interest in the non-profit sector. We are committed to embracing diversity and consider all applicants for all positions without regard to color, ethnic background, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. We encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply for any open position in which they feel qualified.