Title: OTVC Housing Navigator
Department: Oakland Together for Vets Collaborative
Reports to: OTVC Rapid Rehousing Manager
Salary Range: $50,000-55,000, DOE.
Benefits: Medical, dental, 10 vacation days in initial four years, sick leave, 11 holidays.
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Location: Oakland, CA. This is an onsite position.
Start Date: Available immediately.
About EOCP: Founded in 1990, EOCP is a dynamic and growing organization that provides safety-net and rapid re-housing services to a diverse base of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Alameda County.
Position Summary: The OTVC Housing Navigator provides housing navigation and permanent housing placement services to Veteran households who are experiencing severe challenges in securing and maintaining permanent housing. This position prepares Veteran households to submit housing applications, manage interviews with landlords, cope with housing application rejections, request reasonable accommodations when appropriate, conduct housing inspections, negotiate a lease, assist with needed resources and strategies so the Veteran households obtains and sustains their permanent housing placements over the long haul.
- Support individuals in preparing for housing interviews or other meetings that impact their ability to obtain permanent housing.
- Assist individuals in responding to housing application rejections. Help request reasonable accommodations or appeals when appropriate.
- Gather and assemble related information and maintain appropriate records and files
- Responsible for gathering and compiling data and preparing timely periodic reports, as required by funders and collaborative partners.
- Maintain thorough and concise case notes.
- Attend and participate in weekly case management meetings.
Outreach and Engagement
- Provide field-based work for Veteran households that may involve various community programs and locations
- Respond to the needs of clients, including emergency situations -- connections to food, health, income, transportation, etc.
- Link clients with interim or bridge housing resources as desired and available.
- Connect Veteran households with appropriate resources and referrals for mental health, housing, substance recovery, physical health care, educational programs, financial assistance, employment, housing advocacy, socialization activities and other services.
- Develop rapport and build an ongoing relationship with Veteran households via regular and consistent contact.
- Establish communication links with and for Veteran households -- phone/cell phone, mailing address, e-mail, meeting locations, social support contacts.
Preparing for Permanent Housing
- Assess and begin to address the Veteran household's housing histories and barriers -- positive references, credit history, rental history and prior evictions, criminal history, registered sex offender status, outstanding debts, outstanding warrants.
- Use housing history to inform preparation work, complete early to avoid surprises.
- Get to know members or potential members of the Veteran's household including pets and companion animals.
- Assess potential to connect the Veteran household with family/friends in stable housing.
- Assess eligibility for permanent housing resources -- deposit/move-in financial assistance, rapid rehousing, affordable housing, and permanent supportive housing.
- Assess the Veteran household's financial and resource situation and potential budget for housing -- help with income and benefits acquisition, develop plan to help fund move-in costs.
- Help the Veteran household create tenant resumes -- key information to use on housing applications.
Securing Permanent Housing
- Help identify and pursue potential housing opportunities besides permanent supportive and affordable housing. Help Veterans tour neighborhoods and properties -- address rejections as part of reality testing. Provide options and discuss trade-offs.
- Assist Veteran households complete and submit required housing applications and other materials, including Housing Navigator and/or other support person(s) on applications as a contact. Include release of information. Include advocacy/support letters with initial application and
- complete site specific paperwork.
- Assist Veteran households with obtaining the resources necessary to apply for and move-in to housing (application fees, security deposits, first month rent, moving service, furnishings, bedding, etc.).
Moving-in and Transitioning
- Complete unit inspection and document any damage or issues prior to move-in.
- Review key elements of rental agreement and expectations to ensure understanding. Review any subsidy agreement as well, if needed.
- Establish utilities for the housing unit.
- Apply for low-income assistance utility programs.
- Assist with obtaining furniture, fixtures, and other move-in needs.
- Update address with key agencies and contacts including the post office, health insurance, public benefits, and service providers.
- Establish method for ensuring rent payments are made on time.
- Develop a housing crisis response plan outlining plans if challenges arise that may jeopardize housing stability including key emergency contacts for service and housing-related issues.
- Transition ongoing supports to appropriate service providers and natural supports model.
- Review ability of the Veteran household to manage activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).
- Utilize information and Housing Specialist(s) to find landlords willing to accept housing subsidies for Veteran household approved for voucher or tenant-based housing subsidy programs.
- Assist Veteran household with move-in to new unit and with transitioning support to permanent supportive housing service provider(s) and/or other resources.
- Help address any challenges with independent living. Consider need for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS).
- Support IHSS application and worker selection process if needed. Help develop skills relevant to living with others in residential community -- conflict resolution, communication skills, raising concerns with neighbors and landlords, etc.
- Assist with helping individuals create a sense of home -- personalization, inviting guests, art work, etc.
- Update and/or maintain all required tools, drop box and screening forms.
- Gather statistical data to monitor program effectiveness.
- Assists with providing input for grant reports.
- Attend weekly or biweekly program staff meetings, trainings and all-staff meetings that are held during the day.
- Successfully complete all HMIS Privacy and Security trainings.
- Maintain confidentially regarding clients, staff and other agency affairs.
- Promote a positive work environment by modeling a positive, professional demeanor at all times, including treating each Veteran household with dignity and respect.
- Follows all program guidelines.
- Maintain confidentiality regarding Veteran household and staff members.
- Conduct business in accordance with the EOCP Employee Handbook, exercising sound judgment and serving the best interests of the agency and the community.
- Attend professional trainings and conferences as needed.
- Perform all other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor's degree in social work, psychology or related field required.
- At least 3-5 years of case management experience in a similar setting.
- Understanding and/or experience working with Veterans and their households. Prior exposure to serving low income or families experiencing homelessness preferred.
- Knowledgeable about the dynamics of homelessness, including living with addictions, mental health issues and/or domestic violence.
- Knowledge of basic counseling and interviewing techniques. Motivational Interviewing and trauma informed experience/training preferred.
- Experience providing rapid rehousing case management preferred.
- Valid driver's license and ability to drive. Must have own transportation to carry out job duties and responsibilities. The vehicle must meet legal requirements (insured, registered, etc.).
- Experience with client database systems.
- Demonstrated ability to maintain organized case management files.
- Experienced in producing well written reports, memos and other correspondence in a timely fashion.
- Demonstrated experience de-escalating volatile situations with clients.
- Able to maintain a calm demeanor and communicate effectively with Veteran households and team members (verbal and written communication).
- Able to work in a culturally diverse environment.
- Strong team player and collaboration skills.
- Able to use utilize good judgement, think logically and make sound decisions. Able to outline realistic service plans.
- Ability to work well under pressure.
- Experience working with computers and successful utilization of Word and Excel. Able to navigate the internet and retrieve resources and email.
CERTIFATES, LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS
- Valid California Driver's license and automobile insurance.
- Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:30 pm some evenings, weekends, and holidays may be required.
- Up to 90% of the time may be spent working in the field with participants, in the car, outdoors, or in shelters. Other time will be spent in the office completing administrative and paperwork and meeting with the Rapid Rehousing Manager.
Send a resume and cover letter in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use subject line: FName, LName for OTVC Housing Navigator (your last name and first name).
In the cover letter, answer these questions:
- What experience, if any, do you have serving Veterans or single individuals experiencing homelessness?
- What experience, if any, do you have placing unhoused Veterans or single individuals into permanent housing?