The Shelter Diversion/Aftercare Specialist 1) provides intervention strategies for households who are at-risk of homelessness, as defined by HUD or other federal statutes; and 2) provides comprehensive housing retention case management, advocacy, and support to former clients of the housing programs by assisting them in maintaining stable housing and self-sufficiency to prevent housing loss.
Shelter Diversion Activities:
- Diversion counseling services explore and help clients navigate safe and viable alternatives to entering the shelter system. Provide referral resources to clients over the phone or make arrangements for an in-person appointment.
- Inform and coordinate services with area townships, targeting schools and other potential referring agencies, households identified as high-risk of homelessness (i.e. precariously housed in two or more permanent housing situations within 60 days or less with special needs) through established linkage agreements.
- Generate monthly reports from database identify graduates or “exited” clients receiving services 30+ days – 180 days.
- Accept referrals from housing and supportive service case managers, households who have “graduated” from a Housing Forward program and entered independent housing to enroll them in voluntary services.
- Provide housing retention/aftercare services, including advocacy, support and housing stabilization services for clients who have exited housing or have received homeless prevention assistance, including linkage to community based services, income supports, and housing prevention services as necessary.
- Identify special needs and make appropriate referrals.
- Assist clients, as needed, in developing and implementing individual goals and objectives to attain and maintain housing stability.
- Document services and demographics in HMIS.
- Maintain a working knowledge of referral sources for housing, vocational and other relevant sources; sensitivity to addiction and recovery, cultural heritage, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, medical and psychiatric conditions.
- Maintain positive relations with clients, volunteers, co-workers, staff from other agencies, agency funders, and the general public.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills by conveying necessary information accurately, listening effectively and asking questions when clarification is needed.
- Interact effectively with persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds, religious views, cultural backgrounds, and sexual orientations and treat each individual with respect and dignity.
- Demonstrate team behavior and promote a team-oriented environment.
- Participate in ongoing development and improvement of all program processes and relationships.
- Meet regularly with supervisors
Ideal Qualities & Experiences
- Excellent communication and 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.
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- Bachelor degree in social work or equivalent field preferred.
- Bi-lingual English/Spanish preferred.
- Must have good computer skills and able to enter data into various databases in a timely manner.
- Candidate must be a team player, demonstrate good listening and empathic skills, and be able to multi-task.
- Possess strong oral and written communication.
- Excellent time management and organizational skills.
- Must be able to lift 50 pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Hours of Work
- 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.