Job Title: Transitional Housing Support Specialist/Volunteer Manager
Reports To: Executive Director
Position Status: Salary Position
Program Description: Emergency Residence Project’s Transitional Housing Program is a single-site longer-term housing assistance program that provides safe, stable, and affordable housing to families with children. The Housing Support Specialist assists with housing search and placement along with leveraging supportive services that will assist the household in maintaining permanent housing.
Job Summary: Provide a variety of office and field activities to manage and monitor six transitional housing apartments for families experiencing homelessness, perform direct client services, and compile related documentation. Provide oversight and management of the apartments. Also recruit, train, and oversee the volunteer program through the Emergency Residence Project. 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 both in a general office environment and in the field and community.
- Exhibit a belief in a Housing First model.
- Provide on-going emotional support and encouragement to clients.
- Develop and maintain rapport with clients through open communication, using a strength-based approach.
- Promote a healthy work environment.
- Establish working relationships with area professionals, service providers, landlords, and the community at-large, to combat the problem of homelessness in the community.
- Work as a team member in solving problems and improving service delivery.
- Maintain familiarity and comply with agency policy and procedures to exercise good judgement in various situations.
- Assist the agency in providing public education and training regarding issues of homelessness.
- Provide a welcoming environment to clients, donors, volunteers, and the general public.
- Attend work as scheduled. Some weekend work may be required to work with volunteer projects.
- Acquire and maintain required certifications.
- Take part in shared staff responsibilities and duties as needed.
Duties Specific to Housing Support Specialist:
- Provide oversight and management of the transitional housing units to ensure safety and compliance with city ordinances.
- Advocate on behalf of clients and their children who are affected by homelessness.
- Attend meetings with clients on a weekly basis, as well as trainings, staff meetings, and community meetings.
- Assess housing barriers faced by homeless individuals and families to determine housing and service needs.
- Answer questions from potential clients and/or community organizations about the Emergency Residence Project.
- Assist clients 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 social history information to determine client’s needs, goals, and eligibility.
- When preparing to exit the program, assist participants in locating and securing housing of their choice.
- Verify household income and provide recommendation of continued monthly rent assistance from program.
- Complete monthly inspections of properties to ensure units are safe and sanitary and that clients are following through with their contract obligations with regard to upkeep of the units.
- 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 clients’ behalf to develop a workable plan to obtain and/or maintain housing.
- Provide information and referral assistance regarding available support from appropriate social service agencies and/or community programs.
- 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.
- Develop an effective, timely referral network in order to ensure ongoing direction and support as needed.
- Conduct quarterly assessments to identify client strengths and barriers to stability and assist clients in reducing barriers and linking to resources and services.
- Take an active role in all 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.
- Apply knowledge of landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities to educate clients of their rights and responsibilities.
- 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, 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/track participant data for entry in the HUD Annual Progress Report (APR).
- Understand and adapt to service changes in the field at the local, state, or national level.
Duties Specific to Volunteer Manager:
- Recruit volunteers to assist in day-to-day operations and administration of the Emergency Residence Project. Complete initial interview to match volunteers with most appropriate tasks and jobs needed.
- Coordinate volunteer schedules and projects by maintaining a prioritized list of jobs to be done and match, when possible, the tasks with the skills and abilities of the volunteers.
- Keep written documentation of volunteer hours and acknowledge all in-kind donations to the shelter.
- Provide supervision, guidance, and training to volunteers to ensure knowledge of required tasks and addressing concerns.
- Represent Emergency Residence Project at community and other program development meetings as needed.
- Assist in on-going coordination and management of the donations given to Emergency Residence Project from community persons and ensure timely distribution to any participants.
- Participate in agency needs assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and grant writing as coordinated by the Executive Director.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work or related field. Documented casework experience may be substituted for degree.
- Prefer previous experience in working with homeless populations or at-risk populations 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 demonstrate knowledge of Microsoft Office Software and basic computer skills.
- Ability to drive and travel throughout Story County service areas to provide support services as needed.
- Respectful and non-discriminatory behavior towards all clients.