Homelessness Prevention Advocate
Housing Corporation of Arlington (HCA) is a 501-c3 not-for-profit community development corporation in Arlington, Massachusetts. HCA offers three programs: Affordable Housing, Homelessness Prevention and the Arlington Human Services Network. Through its Affordable Housing Program HCA acquires, rehabilitates, and manages affordable housing for people with limited incomes. HCA currently owns 93 units of affordable housing, has a pipeline of 57 additional units and oversees the work of the management companies. The Homelessness Prevention Program provides small grants to households facing homelessness to help them maintain stable housing. In the past 10 years, HCA has helped over 800 Arlington households in avoid homelessness. The Arlington Human Services Network is a group of 16 human services providers that collaborate to identify vulnerable residents and coordinate services to promote health and stability. The Network meets twice a month to share referrals, coordinate services and share resources.
We seek a seasoned professional to become part of our small, efficient staff. This position requires self-motivation, empathy, flexibility and a strong knowledge of benefits and resources related to housing stability as well as the ability to conduct targeted outreach and build trusting relationships with vulnerable households, working both independently and collaboratively as needed. In this part-time position the Advocate will conduct outreach and provide supportive services in HCA’s buildings as well as in the wider Arlington community to households at risk of eviction or housing instability. The primary responsibilities of the Advocate include outreach, direct client services and workshop coordination.
Supporting direct client services, the Advocate will provide intake, assessment, case management, referral, and follow-up. The Advocate will screen for multiple needs including emergency assistance, rental assistance or household support services, including domestic violence and benefits screenings. The Advocate will create and maintain electronic and hard copy files of all assigned households and manage a regular schedule of outreach, intake, case management and case reviews. The Advocate will actively participate in the Arlington Human Services Network, attending meetings, referring appropriate households, sharing resources and coordinating services with the group.
Every Calendar year the Advocate will organize two First Time Home Buyer Workshops and four Financial Workshops. These seminars and events are designed to build greater stability, economic empowerment, and financial literacy of participants and tenants. The Advocate will work with local banks and other providers, including Metro Housing Boston’s Greenspace Financial Mentoring Program to support and register participants in appropriate workshops and individual financial coaching. The position at times requires flexible scheduling to support the organization that includes occasional evenings and weekends.
Essential duties and responsibilities:
- Outreach to HCA tenants and Arlington residents to identify households at risk for housing instability
- Engage vulnerable households and work with them to stabilize housing, connecting to appropriate benefits and services
- Manage intake and assessment for diverse households
- Provide case management services and housing and benefits counseling for Arlington residents and HCA tenants
- Connect residents to appropriate specialized services for a variety of needs: hoarding, eldercare, mental health, physical health, domestic violence, child welfare, childcare, afterschool programs, employment assistance, disabilities, food insecurity
- Maintain current and accurate case records
- Develop individual housing resiliency plans with clients
- Respond to emergency situations
- Represent agency at meetings as necessary and other tasks as assigned
- Minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of four years’ experience in eviction prevention and case management and/or working with homeless or high-risk households
- Preference for MSW or LCSW
- Computer competence required and experience with case management databases
- Willingness to engage in ongoing professional development
- Experience and knowledge of range of benefits/resources including SNAP, TANF, RAFT, etc.
- Self-starter with initiative
- Collaborative and team supporter
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Detail oriented with ability to manage multiple responsibilities
- Computer agility with knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel, Search engines
- Ability to work with vulnerable populations without personalizing other’s stress
- Ability to work with volunteer groups and coordinate multiple activities
- Strong sense of professionalism, healthy boundaries and personal limits
- Ability to identify and implement best practices in outreach, eviction prevention and case management
- Culturally competent
Salary and Hours:
Part-time position with flexibility on days and hours in the range of 15-25 hours per week.
Salary is negotiable depending on experience and qualifications. Two weeks paid vacation.
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