Department: Coordinated Entry
Reports to: Coordinated Services Manager
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Directly Leads: Not Applicable
Budgetary Line Responsibility: Not Applicable
Salary Range: $60,000-$65,000 per year
Shift: Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30pm
The East Oakland Community Project (EOCP) is a partner of the Coordinated Entry Effort for Singles in Alameda County. EOCP's Crossroads is part of the centralized hub that provides housing services, support and referrals for single men and women who are homeless. The Coordinated Entry effort will assess and permanently house homeless singles. Individuals who are literally homeless will be offered an array of services to meet emergency housing needs and to address permanent housing needs.
The Housing Navigator/Stabilizer will maintain a caseload of often chronically homeless individuals, many of whom will have multiple barriers, including, but not limited to substance use and health conditions. The goal is to provide support for single men and women and assist them in their work towards securing stable housing. This position will also help single individuals build their independent living skills so they are able to maintain permanent housing and will provide connections community resources. The Housing Navigator/Stabilizer works with the Outreach team to locate individuals and link them to services.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- 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 homeless individuals 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 homeless individuals 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 clients via regular and consistent contact
- Establish communication links with and for clients -- phone/cell phone, mailing address, e-mail, meeting locations, social support contacts
- Help homeless individuals link with clinical care management and other service resources as needed and desired
- Provide psychological/emotional preparation and support for homeless individuals around obtaining housing - realistic expectations of wait times, affordable housing options, benefits and challenges of living with others, remaining hopeful, addressing fears/ambivalence of being housed, addressing unhealthy coping skills/street behavior that could disrupt housing, tenant obligations, and dealing with conflict resolution as needed
Core Housing Preparation Work
- Assess and begin to address client 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 client's household including pets and companion animals
- Assess potential to connect client 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 client'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 families create tenant resumes -- key information to use on housing applications
- Help homeless individuals identify and pursue potential housing opportunities besides permanent supportive and affordable housing. Help clients tour neighborhoods and properties -- address rejections as part of reality testing -- "at least look at the place, you don't have to take it"; provide options and discuss trade-offs
- Help homeless individuals 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
- Help homeless individuals complete housing program or site-specific paperwork to obtain particular units or subsidies
- Assist homeless individuals 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 (average of 6 months of support)
- 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. Possible housing challenges include -- mental health/substance use relapse, health and cognitive issues such as, non-payment of rent, conflicts with neighbors or landlord, unauthorized guests, hoarding/cluttering, smoking and fire hazards, plumbing/flooding issues
- Transition ongoing supports to appropriate service providers and natural supports model
- Review ability of homeless individuals 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 clients approved for voucher or tenant-based housing subsidy programs
- Assist clients 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 environment by modeling a positive, professional demeanor at all times, including treating each community member with dignity and respect
- Follows all program guidelines
- Maintain confidentiality regarding families 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
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work, Psychology or related field
- Minimum three-year experience of working with the homeless, people who are dually diagnosed, or living with substance
- Knowledgeable about dynamics of homelessness, substance abuse, mental health, and the chronically homeless
- Ability to build supportive and respectful working relationships with individuals who are diagnosed with a mental illness that instill hope and promotes self-determination
- Familiarity with public benefits, chemical dependency, health, and social service programs in Alameda County
- Excellent knowledge of local housing market
- Knowledge and experience utilizing basic counseling and Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques
- Ability to use conflict-resolution skills to de-escalate volatile situations with clients
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Ability to meet deadlines and complete multiple tasks in a timely manner
- Ability to work effectively with a team of other professionals and coordinate services/activities with each member, as needed
- Capacity to work well in a fast-paced environment
- Demonstrated ability to maintain a calm demeanor
- Capacity to set priorities in the presence of conflicting needs in consultation with supervisor
- Strong self-awareness and sense of limitations
- Appropriate professional and personal boundaries with high integrity
- Ability to maintain professional attitude and appearance at all times
- Excellent organizational and time management skills
- Proven ability to work independently and as an effective and collaborative member of a team
- Must dress neatly and professionally when reporting to work and assisting clients on and off site
- Ability to work flexible hours, including some weekends and evenings
- Experience working in a homeless drop-in center or shelter setting strongly preferred
- Knowledge of rapid re-housing techniques
- Experience with street outreach a plus
LANGUAGE SKILLS: English, second language, especially Spanish or American Sign Language a plus
MATHEMATICAL SKILLS: High School level
REASONING ABILITY: Able to utilize good judgment, think logically and make sound decisions. Demonstrated ability to outline realistic service plans.
COMPUTER SKILLS: Experience working with computers and successful utilization of Word and Excel. Must possess knowledge of the internet and be able to retrieve resources and email and ability to perform word processing.
CERTIFICATES, LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS: Reliable transportation and proof of a valid and current California Driver's License and current insurance along with a clean DMV record required. This position requires an annual tuberculosis test.
- The employee in this position is regularly required to use hands to type, handle, feel
- The employee in this position is frequently required to climb stairs, walk, sit, talk and hear
- The employee in this position is occasionally required to stand, stoop, kneel, crouch or reach
- The employee in this position must occasionally safely lift and/or move up to 40lbs
- Specific vision abilities required by this position include: close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus
WORK ENVIRONMENT: Ability to work in a diverse and stressful environment serving chronically homeless individuals with multiple issues.
I have received a copy of my job description and understand all of my responsibilities. I am able to perform the above delineated duties without restrictions.
Send a resume and cover letter in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use subject line: FName, LName for CES Housing Navigator (your first name and last name).
In the cover letter, answer these questions:
- What kind of experience do you have working with the homeless community?
- How well do you perform in a pressured, fast-paced environment and, in consultation with supervisor?