Job Summary: Working in a team, and under the direction of the Outreach & Engagement Manager, the In-Reach Specialist is responsible for 1) intake, assessment, and referral services to clients in the agency’s Emergency Shelter; 2) assisting in the facilitation of moving clients beyond shelter services by linking clients to the agency’s supportive services and case management team; and 3) providing crisis intervention, advocacy and education on behalf of clients. The In-Reach 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.
Outreach and Engagement responsibilities:
Screen for homeless eligibility and complete initial intake for those entering the Emergency Shelter September- May;
Provide on-site support to clients enrolled in the Transitional Shelter in operation June-September.
Provide targeted outreach to assigned case load as determined by supervisor regularly engaging clients with the intent to link them to housing or supportive services
Provide clients with an explanation of services Housing Forward offers.
Provide clients with transportation passes as determined by program guidelines.
Identify and assess clients for housing eligibility
Attend and participate in all required meetings and trainings.
Provide administrative and operational shelter support
Document and report any incidents at the Shelter through the after-hours line and agency’s Incident Report Form
Document case notes and client incidents in a timely manner, maintain accurate documentation for all funders and third party billing systems
Enter data into Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
Other: Access to personal transportation is necessary for this position.
Hours: 37.5 per week. Must be willing to work nights and weekends
Physical Demands: Ability to lift and/or move 50 lbs.
Knowledge, Skills, Experience:
Excellent engagement skills, ability to work independently and as part of a team. Experience working side-by-side with volunteers a plus. Knowledge of issues related to homelessness and poverty. Strong interpersonal and problem solving skills.
Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree in Social Work preferred or related field from an accredited college or university required. Minimum of one year experience working in social services preferred. Familiarity with permanent housing options, mental health and substance abuse services, computer skills, and ability to communicate effectively in a diverse environment is a plus.
About Housing Forward
The mission of Housing Forward is to transition people from housing crisis to housing stability. Housing Forward is the only social service agency in west Cook County with a comprehensive "housing + services" solution for transitioning individuals and families out of homelessness. Over the past 22 years, we have developed a unique, integrated approach that to date has transformed the lives of more than 10,000 people. Our solution is comprehensive and long-term, not just a quick fix, which benefits our clients and also the communities in which we operate.