Connections for the Homeless is a rapidly growing homeless services agency powered by our vision of ending homelessness in North suburban Cook County. Headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, Connections began over 35 years ago as a shelter run entirely by volunteers and has expanded to serve more than 1,500 participants every year through Eviction Prevention, Shelter and Housing services. Employing our core values of equity and inclusion, community, transparency, generosity of spirit, and resilience, we work in partnership with our supporters and the people we serve to achieve our mission of serving and catalyzing our community to end homelessness, one person at a time.
Connections is currently seeking outstanding candidates for the position HOUSING SPECIALIST.
Summary of Position: The Housing Specialist is responsible for connecting individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or are in unstable housing situations with housing.
Provide case management specific to housing placement for participants seeking housing assistance
Conduct housing and assessment screenings with participants to identify appropriate housing intervention (RRH; market rate housing; supportive housing; affordable/subsidized housing, etc.)
Build and maintain relationships with landlords and maintain a relevant and up-to-date database of housing options
Provide tenant rights counselling to participants
Coach participants through application process with landlords and assist with subsidized and affordable housing application and certification process as needed
Act as point person for community and housing partners to facilitate effective exchange of information and collaboration.
Work collaboratively as a member of the housing team to transition people experiencing homelessness who are currently in emergency housing (hotels; shelters) into permanent housing options.
Refer housing participants as needed to other Connections services (mental health, prevention, etc.) to maintain housing stability and increase overall quality of life.
Mediate between landlords and participants to resolved issues impacting tenancy
Assist Connections participants with housing search and location and executing leases with landlords/agencies.
Maintain participant files in HMIS, prepare reports and ensure other required documentation is completed in a timely manner
Effectively engage potential participants and explain the scope of services provided by Connections for the Homeless
Be present as needed during Drop-In Center operations to provide case management services and support the milieu
Attend agency and housing related meetings; conferences; and trainings and represent Connections for the Homeless on external committees as assigned
Adhere to the Code of Conduct and Core Values of Connections for the Homeless.
The following qualifications are requirements for the position:
HS Diploma or GED. Bachelor’s degree in social service related field preferred. One or more year of Case Management experience
One or more years of Homeless Services experience.
Understanding of principles of harm reduction and trauma-informed care, and the impact of severe mental illness on individuals and their families
Valid Illinois Driver’s License
Flexible schedule – evenings and weekend hours are needed from time to time
Able to work independently and with diverse populations
Excellent speaking, writing, and interpersonal skill
Must be able to pass a criminal background check
About Connections for the Homeless
Connections serves and catalyzes our community to end homelessness, one person at a time. We do this through homelessness prevention, shelter, and housing programs. In 2018, Connections has served over 1,000 individuals through our services. Based in Evanston, Connections serves communities throughout north suburban Cook County. To learn more about our programs, please visit our website at www.connect2home.org.