Jobs

Friends of the Family is looking for a Housing Support Specialist to work with homeless families and individuals in a 9 county area.  Please send resume and cover letter to [email protected] or mail to Karlee Kearns, PO Box 784 Waverly, IA 50677 by December 21st.

Job Summary: Turning Point Rural Housing Project is a scattered site transition-in-place program that promotes consumer choice in housing within the private rental market.  The Housing Support Specialist assists with the housing search and placement along with leveraging supportive services that will assist the participant household to maintain permanent housing.  Perform a variety of office and field activities to manage and monitor a transition-in-place program for homeless individuals and families, provide direct client services, and compile related paperwork. 

Essential Responsibilities:

  1. Exhibit a belief in non-violence and a willingness to advocate on behalf of victims and their children who are affected by rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, or homelessness in a non-discriminating manner.  Exhibit a belief in a Housing First model. 
  2. Uphold the belief that delivering the best client services is the agency’s top priority.
  3. Provide on-going emotional support and encouragement to clients.
  4. Develop and maintain a rapport with clients through open and honest communication.
  5. Promote a healthy work environment.
  6. Establish working relationships with area professionals, service providers, and the community at-large focusing on homelessness, sexual assault, and domestic violence while promoting a positive reputation of FOF. 
  7. Work as a team member in solving problems and improving service delivery.
  8. Maintain up to date familiarity with agency policy and procedures in order to exercise good judgment in various situations.
  9. Assist the agency in providing public education and training regarding issues of homelessness. 
  10. Attend work as scheduled, including but not limited to meeting with participants on a weekly basis, staff meetings, trainings, etc. 
  11. Comply with state advocacy training/certification requirements as well as confidentiality as defined by Iowa Code and state coalitions. Achieve and maintain required certification.
  12. Assist in developing and coordinating victim services to reach under-served groups within the FOF service area, including rural elderly, disabled and isolated people.
  13. Comply with agency policies and procedures. 
  14. Attend required trainings and maintain required certifications. 
  15. Perform other work assignments as requested/needed. 

 

Duties Specific to Housing Support Specialist: 

  1. Assess housing barriers of homeless individuals and families to determine housing and service needs.
  2. Answer questions of potential participants and/or community organizations interested in more information about the housing programs. 
  3. Develop a housing plan with participants.  This shall include the social history information to determine participant’s needs, goals, and eligibility. 
  4. Assist participants in locating and securing housing of their choice.  Complete housing inspections and submit recommendation for housing placement approval to the Housing Services Manager and the Executive Director.
  1.    Verify household income and provide recommendation of continued monthly rent assistance from program.
  2. Request and obtain written pre-approval for program expenditures related to participant supportive services.
  3. Create and maintain consistent communication channels, both verbal and written, between several parties (i.e. participant, landlord, referral sources, collaborating agencies, debtors, etc.)
  4. Provide mediation and advocacy with landlords on the participant’s behalf to develop a workable plan to obtain and/or maintain housing.  Serve as an ongoing liaison between property managers/landlords and participants. 
  5. Provide information and referral assistance regarding available support from appropriate social service agencies and/or community programs. 
  6. Assist in development of and encourage adherence to a personal budget through proactive housing and budget counseling sessions.  Provide budget counseling and education to assist participants in establishing payment plans for bills and past debts.
  7. Assist participants in development of a strength-based/solution-focused individualized goal and action plan that promotes permanent housing and self-sufficiency. 
  8. Develop an effective, timely referral network in order to ensure ongoing direction and support as needed. 
  9. Conduct quarterly assessments to identify participant strengths and barriers to stability and assist participants in reducing barriers and linking to resources and services. 
  10. Take an active role in all home visits and follow up meetings to ensure stability and further progress towards self-sufficiency; this includes support, advocacy, reducing isolation, listening, problem solving, and identification of resources. 
  11. Utilize creative techniques, including the use of technology, to communicate with clients who are housed throughout the region. 
  12. Apply knowledge of landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities to educate participants of their rights and responsibilities.
  13. Maintain comprehensive case notes, files, and appropriate documentation of services in each participant case files, per HUD audit requirements.  Paperwork must be completed and in the files within 7 days of contact.  This includes, but is not limited to intake, discharge, and follow-up paperwork and documentation. 
  14. Transport participants as deemed necessary.  Transportation requirements should be limited to housing and job searches and occasional visit to relevant social service agencies. 
  15. Collect and report program data, including but not limited to HMIS reporting and funders’ required data.  Maintain/track participant data for entry in the HUD Annual Progress Report (APR).
  16. Understand and adapt to service changes in the field at the local, state, or national level.
  17. Participate in agency needs assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and grant writing as coordinated by the Housing Director or Executive Director. 
  18. Represent FOF at community and other program development meetings as requested. 
  19. Assist in on-going coordination and management of the donations given to FOF from community persons and ensure timely distribution to any FOF participants. 

       

Position Qualifications:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work or related field.  Documented casework experience may be substituted for degree.
  2. Prefer previous experience in working with homeless populations and domestic violence program and demonstrated competency in crisis networking and crisis intervention skills.
  3. Must demonstrate concepts of how to organize, prioritize and plan work to meet deadlines, establish and monitor casework plans, data collection principles and utilize confidentiality requirements.
  4. Must demonstrate knowledge of Microsoft Office Software and basic computer skills.
  5. Ability to drive and travel throughout the nine county service areas to provide support services as needed.