Homelessness Prevention Advocate
Department: Shelter (1099)
Position/Title: Homelessness Prevention Advocate
Reports to: Director of Shelter Services
Status: Part Time
Hours Per Week: 20
Wellspring’s Homelessness Prevention program brings together a number of proactive resources to help local families stay (or become) stably housed. We take a ‘whole person’ and ‘whole family’ approach to link families with as many resources as possible. Wellspring is a local, ‘one-stop’ clearinghouse on Cape Ann, connecting families with housing assistance dollars such as Home BASE or Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT). We also make referrals to community resources for food, childcare, etc.. Finally, we link parents with education and job training opportunities both within and outside of Wellspring so that they can start to earn higher wages. The goal is for families to move beyond a period of crisis or financial stress to a new phase of life with stable housing and reliable income.
The Homelessness Prevention Advocate is a member of the Shelter and Homelessness Prevention Team, working side-by-side with the Homelessness Prevention Manager. Much of their time will be devoted to staffing the Homelessness Prevention Line, assisting families in the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD’s) Front Door Diversion program, and following families as assigned for ongoing case management.
- Manage and maintain Wellspring House’s Homelessness Prevention Line. This includes screening calls, accessing family’s needs and either making referrals to community partners or providing services directly from Wellspring.
- Conduct landlord/tenant mediation and advocacy in order to maintain tenant rights as well as avoid evictions.
- Assess and triage each family’s need while exploring all feasible options including emergency shelter placement, co-housing, multi-generational living and relocation.
- As needed, perform CORI and credit checks with each family as well as secure all vital documents.
- Collaboratively create and maintain a housing search record and secure all vital documents for each family.
- Responsibly identify all feasible housing options as well as any funding available for each family in order to secure and maintain stable housing.
- Coordinate homeless prevention, rapid re-housing, and stabilization services for families to ensure safe, sanitary, affordable housing stability.
- Create, implement and encourage families to follow a reasonable budget to meet their needs by utilizing all community programs including food banks, free meals at school, fuel assistance as well as identifying problem areas of spending.
- Maintain data in both DHCD’s ETO system and Wellspring’s Apricot Data Base including monthly touchpoints, assessments, goals and outcomes.
- Attend regional North Shore ‘Providers’ meetings and local CARE Network meetings.
- Provide families with appropriate information to further assist in alternative housing needs and make referrals for supportive services, as needed.
- Maintain and increase positive, team-oriented working relationships with local supportive service agencies, and state and non-profit agencies.
- Initiate and/or execute a Contract of Participation (“Participation Agreement”) with each household utilizing Home BASE, as the program is contingent on a family’s compliance with the Stabilization Plans.
- Provide ongoing assistance and trouble-shooting to families participating in the Family Health Project (in Lynn and/or Boston), as assigned.
- 3-5 years of experience providing assessment-based services.
- Strong commitment to social justice and transformative work with families.
- Knowledge of issues and experience working with families dealing with homelessness, trauma, and/or substance abuse.
- Bachelors’ Degree or equivalent skills and experience for writing, reading comprehension, and professional communication.
- Strong competencies with the Microsoft Office software suite.
- Spanish fluency, preferably spoken regularly as an everyday language.
- CPR/First Aid certification (can be obtained upon hire).
Other duties as assigned. Job responsibilities may change as the needs of the organization change.
Please email your cover letter and resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please. AA/EOE