Bi-Lingual Housing Specialist/Family Advocate

Posting Date: August 28, 2015

  • Department: Social Services
  • Reports to: Social Services Manager
  • FLSA Status: Full-time, Non-Exempt (generally 8-5 M-F) [Temporary – through 6/30/16 (may be extended)]
  • Wages/Salary: $15.50 to $16.50/hr ($32,240 to $34,320/yr) DOE
  • Location: Rockwood

Summary

Provide strengths-based family advocacy and housing specialist work for homeless families beginning at intake. Perform housing search guidance and move-ins. Approximately 50% – 75% of work will be housing families, both on your caseload and assisting other advocates with housing families on their caseloads. Provide advocacy for formerly homeless families. Most families have experienced significant trauma and face multiple needs related to income autonomy and permanent housing stability. Deliver services within the framework of Assertive Engagement and Trauma Informed Care. Work in partnership with adult family members to develop and monitor the implementation of an action plan focused on housing stability, income autonomy, children’s needs, health and wellness, education, and social capital.

Critical Performance Factors

  1. Perform housing intakes with homeless families and set housing goals with them based on their strengths and barriers.
  2. Conduct in-depth strength-based assessment with families to identify housing and work history, physical/emotional health, legal issues, debt, social support, strengths, struggles, and available resources.
  3. Assist families with housing search including helping them to overcome barriers to housing, assisting with letters of explanation and requests for reasonable accommodation where applicable.
  4. Perform comparable rental unit searches as needed where available unit is over rent reasonable guidelines.
  5. Perform Housing Quality Standards inspections.
  6. Perform move-ins ensuring that adults understand the rental agreement and perform housing quality standards inspections.
  7. Meet with the housing specialist team and work with them to improve services and outcomes.
  8. Assist each family to develop and implement an individualized and flexible action plan with goals (based on the assessment), which systematically addresses the actions needed to achieve housing stability including, but not limited to, development of personal and work skills, employment, increasing income, transportation and child care.
  9. Apply Assertive Engagement and Trauma Informed Care skills to help families move forward with the goals they set for themselves.
  10. Monitor families’ progress and needs. Provide ongoing supportive services for families pursuant to their respective assessments and plans.
  11. Use creativity and resourcefulness to ensure that families are aware of all community resources available for them and advocate with other service providers for the needs of families as appropriate, which may include, but are not limited to, housing stability, counseling services, and legal services.
  12. Facilitate budget discussions with families to formulate and implement a plan that allows them to successfully manage financial resources, provide for current needs, pay down debts where possible, and plan for the future.
  13. Work with property managers to resolve any issues arising from the tenancy of families on your caseload and assist other Family Advocates in this area as needed.
  14. Maintain current case notes for each assigned family with regular entries regarding their activities to achieve goals.
  15. Maintain accurate, complete, up-to-date documentation of service activities using Human Solutions procedures, forms and data reporting systems. Submit paperwork and complete data entry in a timely manner.
  16. Participate in a domain workgroup developing related resources and relationships to create enhanced services in one or more of the six domain areas: Housing, Income, Education, Children, Wellness and Health, and Social Capital.
  17. Participate in bi-weekly supervision meetings, bi-weekly department meetings, and Human Solutions all staff meetings.
  18. Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

The successful candidate must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily and will be fluent in Spanish. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge and abilities required.

Knowledge of:

  • Social, economic, and systemic issues creating poverty, working successfully with practices and techniques related to people with low income to achieve greater housing stability and have greater control of their well-being.
  • Community resources and agencies providing social services needed by homeless families and those experiencing poverty.
  • The effects of trauma and how trauma can impact families experiencing homelessness and poverty.
  • Landlord / Tenant and Fair Housing laws.

Ability to:

  • Partner with participants to identify their strengths, needs, options and effective solutions.
  • Non-judgmentally elicit information and help problem solve around sensitive issues including, but not limited to, alcohol and drug use, domestic violence, child abuse and mental health, and criminal activity.
  • Plan and coordinate delivery of services.
  • Empower and support families in life choices and change.
  • Work with landlords to facilitate housing for hard-to-house families.
  • Provide leadership and facilitate group process, and to relate and work cooperatively with all volunteers and staff.
  • Develop and maintain productive working relationships within Human Solutions, with property managers, public and private agencies, the general public, and program participants.
  • Provide culturally sensitive services to a broad diversity of homeless and formerly homeless families.
  • Prepare and maintain clear, accurate, complete and timely records and reports.
  • Understand and follow complex written and oral instructions, rules and procedures.
  • Work independently and be a vital and contributing part of a team.
  • Represent Human Solutions at inter-agency and funder meetings as requested by supervisor.
  • Maintain professional boundaries with all families served.
  • Maintain professional conduct within the agency, with community partners, and the public in the performance of work.

Education and/or Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in social service/social sciences field with at least six (6) months case management experience including housing families or individuals; or any combination of education and work experience in social services and case management totaling four years.
  • Experience with crisis intervention, community networking and resource development.
  • Experience delivering services using Assertive Engagement techniques (i.e. Strength Based Case Management, Motivational Interviewing (Assertive Community Treatment).
  • Bi-lingual Spanish/English, bi-cultural.
  • General computer and word processing skills and willingness to learn other computer skills.
  • Rent Well Instructor certification preferred, but not required.

Transportation

To perform the job effectively and efficiently, the successful applicant needs a reliable automobile, current Driver’s License and current automobile insurance carrying 100/300 limits of liability.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and talk or hear.  The employee frequently is required to stand; walk; sit; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, and distance vision.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

TO APPLY

symbol-arrow Please send resume with cover letter and three professional references to: Patricia McLean, Social Services Manager via email at pmclean@humansolutions.org. References need not be written, simply the names and contact information for three people who are familiar with your work. At least one should be a supervisor or former supervisor. Open until filled.  Applications will be reviewed as quickly as possible after submission. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

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