A Day in the Life of a Housing Navigator

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Athena, housing navigator, talks about her role.

Describe your role. 

As the Housing Navigator My main role is to Connect with landlords and work on our relationships with them to continue to grow our relationships and help house our clients. With this I also work with Case managers to help get their clients into available rentals within the relationships we have built with landlords in the counties we serve.  

What led you to become a Housing Navigator? 

I was in love in the short term faced paced ability to help clients become housed and working with the landlords to do so. I like looking at a different perspective and have been able to see from both the clients and landlords perspectives has helped me build relationships with landlords and successfully house clients very efficiently.  

Describe the relationship we have with landlords. 

Our relationships with landlords changes based on whoever you are interacting with! Some relationships are very great and have only had great experiences some are not so great but that comes with any relationship in the world we live in. It is all full of ups and downs and I would say that’s the only way to describe it we all have our good days and our bad ones.  

Do you work with the same landlords on a consistent basis? 

A lot of our landlords are people we do work with consistently. I am always trying to meet new ones and expand our relationships to new ones as well.  

How do you recruit new landlords?  

Many times it is by word of mouth from other landlords experiences with us. Others its by reaching out to a rental posting introducing myself and our program and viewing their unit to describe our programming and get them on board of our mission.  

How do you start each day? 

With a large cup of coffee… but really I come in and check referrals and see who is needing assistance getting their clients into a unit.  I then will start each day with a housing search and go from there.  

Are there specific community partners or resources you work consistently with? 

Yes we have some great partnerships that we are able to connect clients with consistently for units.  I also get to help other organizations and individuals when needed as well with landlord negotiation.  

What is the most enjoyable part of your role? 

I love that it is so flexible and every day is different. No two days are the same ever.  

What is the most stressful part of your role? 

When things go chaotic and crisis situations occur and I do not have a solution. That may stress anyone out. And not being able to find units Is my biggest stressor.  

Does work follow you home?  

Some days it does as I am very much an fixer and if I cannot fix something it will bug me until I find a solution.  Other than that the only time work really comes home if there is an emergency and a landlord needs immediate assistance but that rarely happens normally it can wait until the next day. 

How do you unwind?   

Playing and spending time with my dogs. I love to get my nails done and that for me is a big thing to take care of my mental health from the bad days. Otherwise very how showers some days they just wash the stress away! 

Briefly share the story of an impactful day or person you worked with. 

A client I was serving was living in her car and within 2 days of meeting with her for an intake we were able to connect with a landlord and get her housed. 2 days later she had a stable job and within 2 months she was promoted and is still very successful a year later. I get to see her around town sometimes and she is thriving and giving her a home is what lead to her stability and success.