Job Summary: 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.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Shelter Diversion Activities:
Assist clients in navigating alternatives to entering the shelter system, divert households from entering the Emergency Shelter when indicated.,
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 HMIS to 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.
Other duties as assigned.
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
Other duties as assigned.
Hours: full-time (9:00am-5:00pm), must be willing to work occasional evening or weekend.
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.
Please note: This is a paid volunteer position through the AmeriCorps program.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Bachelor degree in social work or equivalent field.
Bi-lingual English/Spanish preferred.
Must have good computer skills and able to enter data into various databases in a timely manner.
Candidates must be team player, demonstrate good listening and empathic skills, be able to multi-task and possess strong oral and written communication, time management and organizational skills.
Must be able to lift 50 pounds.
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.