Job Title: Housing Support Specialist
Reports To: Housing and Volunteer Director
Position Status: Full-time Salary Position
Emergency Residence Project offers two housing programs that provide safe, stable, and affordable housing to families with children; a short-term Rapid Re-housing program and a longer-term Transitional Housing program. The Housing Support Specialist assists with housing search and placement along with leveraging supportive services that will assist the household in maintaining permanent housing.
Provide a variety of office and field activities to manage and monitor six onsite Transitional Housing apartments and up to ten Rapid Re-housing apartments across the five-county Two Rivers Coordinated Services Region for families experiencing homelessness, perform direct client services, compile related documentation, and enter data into the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Work involves orienting all eligible participants to the program and providing housing search and supportive services to promote participants’ self-sufficiency, integration into the community, and permanency in housing; performing administrative tasks involved in the review and maintenance of a caseload of program participants. The principle duties are performed in a general office environment, in the field and in the community.
- Comply with agency policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Handbook.
- Provide on-going emotional support and encouragement to participants, and advocate on their behalf.
- Develop and maintain rapport with participants through open communication, using a strength-based approach.
- Take an active role in weekly home visits and follow-up meetings to ensure stability and further progress towards self-sufficiency; this includes support, advocacy, reducing isolation, listening, problem solving, and identification of resources.
- Assess housing barriers faced by people experiencing homelessness to determine housing and service needs.
- Assist participants in the development of a strength-based/solution-focused individualized housing plan that promotes permanent housing and self-sufficiency. One part of developing a housing plan is obtaining assessment/social history information to determine needs, goals, and eligibility.
- Verify household income and provide recommendations of continued monthly rent assistance from program.
- Assist in development of and encourage adherence to a personal budget through proactive housing and budget counseling sessions. Provide budget counseling and education to assist clients in establishing payment plans for bills and past debts.
- Create and maintain consistent communication, both verbal and written, between relevant parties (i.e. participant, landlord, referral sources, collaborating agencies, debtors, etc.).
- Provide mediation and advocacy with landlords on participants’ behalf to develop a workable plan to obtain and/or maintain housing.
- Develop an effective, timely referral network to ensure ongoing direction and support as needed.
- Maintain comprehensive case notes, files, and appropriate documentation of services in each client case files, per HUD audit requirements. Paperwork must be completed and in the files within 7 days of contact. This includes, but is not limited to intake, discharge, data collection, and follow-up paperwork and documentation.
- Transport participants as deemed necessary. Transportation requirements should be limited to housing and job searches and occasional visits to relevant social service agencies.
- Collect and report program data, including but not limited to HMIS reporting and funders’ required data.
- Maintain and apply knowledge of landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities to educate participants of their rights and responsibilities.
- Attend work as scheduled. The work day is flexible, and a minimum of an 8-hour day is expected. Some evenings and weekends may be required.
- Understand and adapt to service changes in the field at the local, state, or national level.
Responsibilities specific to Transitional Housing:
- Complete monthly and quarterly inspections of properties to ensure units are safe and sanitary, and that participants are following through with their contract obligations with regard to upkeep of the units.
- Conduct quarterly assessments to identify client strengths and barriers to stability and assist participants in reducing barriers.
- Collect and turn in monthly rent payments from households.
- Assist participants in locating and securing housing of their choice to ensure a successful discharge into permanent housing.
Responsibilities specific to Rapid Re-Housing:
- Complete habitability inspections on potential rental units along with rent comparison checklists. Turn in completed rental application to the Housing and Volunteer Director for approval.
- Conduct monthly assessments to client strengths and barriers to stability and assist participants in reducing barriers.
- Complete monthly rent voucher requests to ensure timely payments of rent directly to the landlords.
- Coordinate the selection of appropriate safe housing for participants and submit recommendation for housing placement for approval by the Housing and Volunteer Director.
- Maintain an organized, clean, and productive work environment.
- Respond to emails and phone calls within a reasonable timeframe.
- Attend meetings as scheduled, including trainings, staff meetings, Two Rivers Coordinated Services Region meetings, and community meetings.
- Establish working relationships with area professionals, service providers, and the community at-large focusing on homelessness and housing while promoting a positive reputation of the Emergency Residence Project.
- Attend required trainings and maintain required certifications. Required trainings include First Aid/CPR, Mental Health/First Aid, and Motivational Interviewing.
- Assist in providing shelter coverage as needed. This includes, but is not limited to, answering phones, engaging in shelter diversion conversations, and supporting in shelter operations.
- Perform other work assignments as requested/needed.
- Exhibit a belief in Housing First, and that everyone deserves a safe, stable, affordable place to live.
- Provide a welcoming environment to all participants, donors, volunteers, and the public.
- Work as a team member in solving problems and improving service delivery.
- Promote a healthy work environment and have a positive attitude.
- Keep calm in crisis or hectic situations.
- Exhibit a non-judgmental and empowering attitude, and a willingness to advocate on behalf of the guests served.
- Ensure all services are confidential and no information is shared without consent.
- Exercise good judgement in various situations. Take decisive action when needed.
- Prioritize tasks and manage time appropriately to ensure timely completion of assigned tasks.
- Communicate effectively with clients, shelter guests, colleagues, and directors.
- Minimum of bachelor’s degree in human services related field or, at a minimum, appropriate knowledge or experience of working with individuals and families experiencing homelessness and/or other issues that put individuals or families at risk of housing instability.
- Minimum of 2 years of experience working with persons in poverty or with disabilities and demonstrated competency in crisis networking and crisis intervention skills.
- Must demonstrate concepts of how to organize, prioritize, and plan work to meet deadlines, establish and monitor casework plans, data collection principles and utilize confidentiality requirements.
- Must be detail oriented, reliable, thorough, and exhibit follow through.
- Ability to drive and travel throughout the Two Rivers region to provide support services as needed.
- Ability to work under pressure, make appropriate and effective decisions, and multi-task.
- Effective written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
- Must demonstrate knowledge of Microsoft Office Software and basic computer skills.
Interested applicants need to submit a letter of interest and a resume to our Housing and Volunteer Director, Linda Munden, at email@example.com.