Housing Support Specialist
Cedar Rapids, IA
Housing Support Specialist- Cedar Rapids
Crisis Services Functions:
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 or domestic violence in a non-discriminating manner
2. Uphold the belief that quality client services are the top priority.
3. Maintain current understanding and knowledge of sexual assault and domestic violence issues including Iowa Code providing comprehensive support and advocacy services to the fullest extent of the law.
4. Provide emotional support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault which may include, but is not limited to, crisis counseling, information/referrals, follow-up and client transportation.
5. Comply with state advocacy training/certification requirements as well as confidentiality as defined by Iowa Code and state coalitions. Achieve and maintain required certification.
6. Share on-call responsibilities.
7. Work with Crisis Services Team to assure shelter coverage which requires maintaining a flexible work schedule to meet victims’ and shelter needs
8. Assist in developing and coordinating victim services to reach under-served groups within the CVFF service area, including rural elderly, disabled and isolated people.
9. Promote a healthy work environment.
10. Establish working relationships with area professionals, service providers and the community at-large focusing on domestic violence, and sexual assault while promoting a positive reputation of CVFF.
11. Attend CVFF staff meetings as scheduled.
12. Maintain up to date familiarity with agency policy and procedures in order to exercise good judgment in various situations.
13. Comply with agency policies and procedures.
14. Maintain accurate data and submit reports, including statistical data, as required.
15. Assist the agency in providing public education and training regarding issues of domestic violence, and sexual assault. Provide presentations to community groups as requested by administration.
16. Assist with training sessions for volunteers and employees.
17. Perform other work assignments as requested/needed.
Duties Specific to Housing Support Specialist:
1. Facilitate and coordinate rapid re-housing program in assigned area to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in identifying and navigating housing options and resources in the communities in which they wish to reside or relocate in.
2. Assisting team with providing emergency sheltering services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault utilizing a standard assessment tool to identify emergency need. Emergency sheltering services include but are not limited to: Friends’ House in Waverly, scattered hotel sites through voucher program, safe room at Waypoint in Cedar Rapids, YWCA Shelter Program in Dubuque, scattered volunteer-run safe homes, etc.
3. Assess housing barriers of victims of DV/SA, and their families, who are facing homelessness to determine housing and service needs.
4. Answer questions of potential participants and/or community organizations interested in more information about the rapid rehousing program/emergency shelter program. Collaborate with partners who also work with victims housed throughout the region to assure smooth and thorough housing and case management services.
5. Complete appropriate documentation to facilitate and implement emergency shelter and housing options for clients in Northeast Iowa.
6. Develop a housing plan with participants.
7. Assist participants in locating and securing housing of their choice. Complete housing inspections and submit recommendation for housing placement approval to the Outreach Services Manager and the Executive Director.
8. Verify household income and provide recommendation of continued monthly rent assistance from program
9. Create and maintain consistent communication channels, both verbal and written, between several parties (i.e. participant, landlord, referral sources, collaborating agencies, etc.)
10. 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.
11. Provide information and referral assistance regarding available support from appropriate social service agencies and/or community programs.
12. 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.
13. Assist participants in development of a strength-based/solution-focused individualized goal and action plan that promotes permanent housing and self-sufficiency.
14. Develop an effective, timely referral network in order to ensure ongoing direction and support as needed.
15. Meet with program participants weekly and take an active role to link to resources and services, ensure stability and progress, provide support and advocacy, reduce isolation, listen, and problem solve.
16. Utilize creative techniques, including the use of technology, to communicate with clients who are housed throughout the region.
17. Apply knowledge of landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities to educate participants of their rights and responsibilities.
18. Document meeting case notes, maintain client files and other appropriate documentation of services per CVAD or ESG 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.
19. Transport participants as deemed necessary. Transportation requirements should be limited to emergency shelter, housing, and occasional needs directly relating to the client’s DV/SA.
20. Collect and report program data, including but not limited to program success and follow-up tracking, data required by funders, etc.
21. Understand and adapt to service changes in the field at the local, state, or national level.
22. Participate in agency needs assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and grant writing as coordinated by the Outreach Service Manager, Director of Operations, or Executive Director.
23. Represent CVFF at community and other program development meetings as requested.
24. Assist in on-going corrdination and management of the donations given to CVFF from community persons and ensure timely distribution to any CVFF participants.
25. Coordiante the purchase of bus tickets and other emergecny needs for sheltered clients to relocate to their area of choice and safety.
26. Utilize creative techniques, including the use of technology, to communicate with clients who are housed across the region.
26. Manage time and schedule independently.
1. Bachelor Degree in social work, related field or combination of equivalent education and experience.
2. Previous experience in crisis counseling, housing, advocacy and crisis intervention skills preferred.
3. Must demonstrate ability to organize, prioritize and plan work to meet deadlines; behavior management techniques, confidentiality and observation/recording techniques.
4. Ability to determine individual skill levels and adapt information and advocacy materials for age appropriate understanding and use.
5. Ability to complete mandatory training to qualify as a victim advocate within 30 days of employment.
6. Ability to travel throughout the 14- county service area to provide in-person advocacy services and to other locations within the state as necessary for training purposes.
7. Ability to pass law enforcement screening and possess clean personal history regarding child endangerment.