The Community Programs team is dedicated to building community, hope, permanent connections, social and emotional well-being and opportunities for youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Our team provides youth with structure, support, and guidance in order to increase their self-sufficiency, health, independence and overall well-being. Community Program participants receive engagement and support through street outreach, community engagement, and the agency’s Drop in Resource Center (DiRC). The Community Programs team provides participants with access to a variety of services including meals, transportation assistance, hygiene items, resources and case management services with a focus on increased self-sufficiency, safe & stable housing, and both educational & employment resources and opportunities.
Community Programs Case Managers are responsible for working as a team to establish and maintain the collaborative and positive tenor of community program services. Case Managers are responsible for the direct care of program youth and must demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to the mission and core values of Ignite (formerly Teen Living Programs). The position reports to the Director of Community Programs.
The following duties are the essential functions of this position.
Provide intake and assessment services.
Provides trauma informed care and interventions for youth in need or in crisis.
Provides case management services, including addressing youths’ increased basic life skills, housing needs, education, employment, physical and mental well-being and makes referrals as needed, unless otherwise directed.
Assist youth with applying to public aid benefits and in obtaining any necessary documentation.
Maintain a working inventory of client’s needs, such as hygiene, clothes, housing, bus passes, food and food cards, and assist clients in reaching their goals.
Coordinate with clients to ensure attendance at and participation in appointments, meetings, and activities.
Distribute CTA passes to youth, (under the terms of the youth’s accountability contract), when transportation is needed for employment, housing, or other critical appointments.
Provide appropriate referral and placement services for homeless or precariously housed youth.
Works in collaboration with the Youth System Integration team and clients to determine most appropriate housing and secure placement within the CoC continuum, if appropriate.
Conducts collaborative community case management to support clients with transitioning into identified housing match.
Document all services clearly and thoroughly in HMIS, ETO, and paper files in a timely manner.
DiRC Milieu Support
Provides general supervision and appropriate intervention to clients and children present in the DiRC community space, specifically covering at least two shifts per week.
Conducts weekly educational and personal development groups in coordination with other staff and/or volunteers in consultation, as assigned.
Monitors the DiRC capacity and environment to ensure safety of youth and staff by assessing the tone and tenor of the milieu and implementing de-escalation techniques as needed, and/or making adjustments to the number of youth accessing the space at any given time.
Manages any crisis and/or emergency that may occur on the DiRC milieu, whether client or staff related, and effectively completes follow up documentation.
Assists the Director of Community Programs in developing the DiRC schedule of services.
Helps clients navigate DiRC group schedules, activities, and resources, such as volunteer lead projects, locker program, youth storage, and respite within DRC.
Oversees, and works in collaboration with, volunteers and interns in the community space and assigns tasks as appropriate.
Functions as a mentor and advisor to Peer Educators during outreach and activities.
Street Outreach and Community Engagement
Drives the Outreach van to conduct street outreach and community engagement activities at the direction of the Director of Community Programs and assists in developing the outreach calendar and community engagement plan.
Provides appropriate youth engagement and intervention in all settings, (e.g., street, schools, partner agencies, etc.).
During street outreach, dresses in a neat, clean and well-groomed manner in order to model positive life skills for youth participants.
During community engagement events, dresses in a professional manner that is neat, clean and well-groomed in order to model the professionalism of Ignite as an agency.
Arranges for street outreach clients to access laundry and showers resources offered by Ignite, and arranges for staff supervision of the youth while they utilize the services.
Conducts presentations for community partners, outlining the services provided by Ignite.
Functions as a mentor and advise to Peer Educators during outreach and activities.
Has a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record and is willing and able to drive the agency vehicle when requested – Following background check, MUST be insurable under the agency’s insurance coverage, otherwise disciplinary action up to and including termination will occur.
Works as a part of a team to provide support and assistance whenever needed.
Prepares and submits all required forms and statistical programs. Maintain documents regarding participants’ cooperation, daily activities and other records in compliance with agency and external policies, procedures and applicable licensing standards in a timely manner.
Participates in program planning and evaluation.
Participates in ongoing training.
Participates in and contributes to regularly scheduled supervisory and team meetings.
May supervise volunteer and/or intern tasks, as assigned.
Participates in on-call rotation.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree (degree in Social Work preferred) or related field, required
5 years of experience in a related field preferred
2 years of experience working with youth, required
Street Outreach experience preferred
Strong oral and written communicator
Demonstrates consistent business ethics and integrity in all of their actions
Exceptional organizational skills regarding schedules and work product
Displays a passion and commitment in their work with the clients
Able to manage well in an ever changing, fast paced environment
Solid team player, critical thinker and problem solver
Is flexible with their work schedule to meet the needs of the clients and agency commitments (including but not limited to training and meetings) Some weekends will be required
Proficient with automation (including but not limited to, Microsoft Office, ETO data entry, etc.)
Must be able to climb stairs and short ladders on frequent, daily basis. May be required to occasionally lift up to 25 lbs.
Internal Number: CPCM 01
About Ignite (formerly Teen Living Programs)
Ignite (formerly Teen Living Programs) helps unstably housed youth, ages 14 to 26, get their youth back and take the first step toward their journey to a stable home and a future with promise.
Our programs and services are designed to meet the immediate and long-term needs of unstably housed youth. But it’s our sense of community that truly makes Ignite unique. Participants build deep relationships with one another as well as our staff that continue to positively impact their lives long after they graduate from our programs.
Youth homelessness is not a choice, and all young people deserve to be defined by their potential, not their circumstances.
Every individual and their situation is unique. Ignite meets youth where they are, physically and emotionally, and makes a daily commitment to putting them on a path to reaching their full potential.
Every young person who comes to Ignite has a chance at a new beginning, and with each new beginning, we’re building a stronger future for Chicago.