The shelter outreach and engagement specialist is responsible for 1) intake, assessment, and referral services to clients in the Emergency Shelter; 2) facilitation of clients’ move beyond shelter services by linking clients to Housing Forward’s continuum of care; and 3) providing crisis intervention, advocacy and education to and on behalf of clients. The outreach and engagement specialist strives to build a trusting relationship with shelter guests in an effort to encourage access to services and housing and reduce the length of stay in the Emergency Shelter.
Direct Client Care:
- Provide hospitality to shelter guests, and ensure a safe and welcoming environment.
- Screen for homelessness services eligibility and complete initial intake for those who use the Emergency Shelter.
- Provide clients with an orientation to the shelter and an explanation of services Housing Forward offers.
- Use trauma-informed and LGBTQ competent engagement techniques to build a rapport with shelter guests and create a safe and comfortable environment.
- Screen clients for basic needs using a strengths-based model, and provide supplies, resources and referrals to other Housing Forward programs, and other social service venues and agencies, including access to the Support Center.
- Provide clients with one-time public transportation passes to access the Support Center.
- Provide targeted outreach to assigned case load as determined by supervisor by regularly engaging clients.
- Use Motivational Interviewing Skills and other evidence-based techniques with clients to achieve consensus on goals, and practice and teach Harm Reduction and the Housing First / Shelter First model.
- Provide crisis intervention using Psychological / Mental Health First Aid and non-violent crisis intervention and other skills and strategies as needed.
- Communicate and cooperate with staff from other programs as needed to ensure seamless delivery of service to clients.
- Work as a team with the other Inreach staff to alternate responsibilities and negotiate tasks to ensure safety and that all duties are fulfilled.
- Collaborate with and support volunteers and interns working at shelter as applicable.
- Provide age appropriate interaction with homeless children and model appropriate adult-child relationships.
- Provide developmentally appropriate support and referrals to homeless youth encountered and adhere to all agency guidelines and ethics regarding treatment of youth.
- Provide on-site support to clients enrolled in the Transitional Shelter in operation June-August.
- Provide outreach to persons living on the street or accessing the Support Center, as assigned.
- Enter client intakes and attendance sheets into the HMIS system within 3 business days.
- Safeguard client’s confidentiality by observing guidelines for exchange of information and by maintaining documentation in designated locked locations at all times.
- Maintain and submit to Outreach and Engagement Manager all service logs and other relevant material in a timely manner.
- Attend and participate in weekly team meetings, monthly All-Staff meetings, weekly case staffings, monthly trainings, and all other required meetings.
- Document and report any incidents at the Shelter through the after-hours line and shelter paperwork.
- Be responsible for safety and proper use of cell phones and other Housing Forward equipment.
- Record mileage and use of personal automobile according to agency policies.
- Participate in Housing Forward’s fund raising and public relations events and efforts as needed and to the extent which it does not interfere with other job duties.
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Completion of GED or high school diploma
- A Bachelor’s degree in Social Work preferred or related field from an accredited college or university required with minimum of one year experience working in social services
- Familiarity with permanent housing options, mental health and substance abuse services
- Strong computer skills
- Ability to communicate effectively in a diverse environment is a plus
- Excellent engagement skills
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Knowledge of issues related to homelessness and poverty
- Strong interpersonal and problem solving skills
Hours of Work
Full-time AmeriCorps Member; 1700 hours to be completed within contracted timeframe. Hours: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. five days a week, may include weekends.
- Living Allowance: $13,732 to be distributed in equal allotments every two weeks within the contract term.
- Education Award: Upon successful completion of the member's term of service, the member will receive an education award from the National Service Trust in the amount of $5,730.
- Health care insurance for the AmeriCorps member
- Child care assistance if applicable