Housing Resource Specialist
POSITION SUMMARY: This position is responsible for engagement with families, expectant mothers and single adults who are experiencing significant housing instability and at-risk of literal homelessness. This position will work with the Stable Housing Network to rapidly resolve the immediate housing crisis. Examples of this assistance include housing problem solving, linkage to immediate needs, referrals for rental assistance, assisting the client in identifying longer-term supports and resources.
SALARY: Grade 5: $42,500-$53,100
This position is primarily focused on the achievement of housing stability for clients through the Stable Housing Network. The overall community goal to reduce evictions and literal homelessness for everyone receiving prevention assistance and services.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: Essential functions of the job include, but are not limited to, traveling, driving, having reliable transportation to meet clients, and utilizing a computer for typing and conducting research, attending meetings, conducting assessments and completing service plans.
MAJOR AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Treat all program participants with respect in a non-judgmental, trauma-informed approach and cultural competency.
- Utilize risk screening tools to assess current level of housing need and crisis.
- Provide intervention and support proportional to current need for households who have higher risk and vulnerability;
- Utilization of housing problem solving as first intervention using strength-based approach with client
- Connect client to self-identified resources or connections that can reduce risk and support housing stabilization.
- Provide access to resources and supports (food pantry, childcare, community mediation, legal aid, etc.) that may have an impact on housing stabilization.
- Refer client for emergency rental assistance (ERA) when appropriate or necessary to stabilize client in eviction prevention approach.
- Coordinate access to flexible funds when available and appropriate for housing stabilization, consistent with eligibility and prioritization criteria for flexible funds.
- Work within the Stable Housing Network to both accept referrals from and make referrals to prevention partners when necessary;
- Accept/make referrals to partners that are also providing ERA2 assistance from City of Columbus and Franklin County.
- Refer when appropriate to targeted homelessness prevention support available as part of the Stable Housing Network’s targeted homelessness prevention services.
- Attend meetings of the Stable Housing Network and with peers across the prevention system.
- Attend and achieve certification in Housing Problem Solving training when offered; attend other relevant trainings offered (e.g. community resource opportunities and trainings, housing instability risk screening training and refresher trainings on all of the above).
- Work closely with other Stable Housing Network partners, including other Housing Resource Specialists and CSB’s Homelessness Prevention Network Manager.
- Provide housing resource information and navigational support for clients as well as other staff at the agency; regular updating of housing-related information and resources.
- Enter data on clients served in program into Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a database maintained by CSB;
- Attend and complete training necessary to obtain and maintain HMIS user license.
- Enter complete data in alignment with HMIS data fields.
- Timely data entry in accordance with data standards.
- Adhere to HMIS data privacy and security standards.
- Represent Equitas Health within the community in order to provide education and advocacy about the strengths and needs associated with individuals living with HIV.
- Complete all documentation within two business days of service provided.
- Attend community housing meetings and training to educate about specific needs associated with HIV and to understand and support the collection and data entry required.
- Demonstrate unconditional positive regard to clients; Conduct all aspects of job responsibilities with a focus on exceptional customer service.
- Utilize supervision appropriately: seeking individual supervision as needed; being prepared to actively participate in group supervision.
- Strive for continuous growth and development of Cultural Humility exhibiting an understanding, awareness, and respect for diversity.
- Maintain client files and records as directed by agency policies and procedures that will be demonstrated by scoring no less than 90% on peer audits.
- Maintain client confidentiality by adhering to agency policy and procedures.
- Maintain familiarity with housing programs policies and procedures and adhere to guidelines set within.
- Complete accurate data collection, reports, and documentation to provide data for federal, state, agency and board purposes as assigned by supervisor.
- Work in conjunction with Equitas Health committees related to clients’ needs and services.
- Complete a minimum of 5 hours a year of HIV-specific training, and 5 hours a year of housing/supportive services training to keep informed about current research, case management models, and needs assessments.
- Other duties as assigned related to this position by supervisor.
- Required education and experience:
- Possess a bachelor’s degree in a social science field and have at least six months experience in a social service setting; or
- Possess an associate degree with at least 1 year of experience working in a social service setting; or
- Possess a high school diploma/GED with at least 4 years of experience working in a social service setting.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and other Qualifications:
- Working knowledge of effective social service interventions, particularly crisis-oriented interventions, and approaches to program and system collaboration.
- Knowledge of issues related to homelessness and homelessness prevention, including causes of homelessness, characteristics of persons who experience homelessness.
- Knowledge of issues and interventions relevant to families and individuals most at-risk of literal homelessness.
- The significance and expertise of a candidate that has experienced homelessness or housing instability will be considered.
- Working knowledge of leases, landlord-tenant rights and eviction proceedings (or ability to develop this competency) to make appropriate referrals for legal assistance and mediation services.
- Experience working in a not-for-profit setting strongly.
- Experience working with people experiencing homeless/housing instability and/or other disadvantaged populations.
- Must have sensitivity to, interest in and competence in cultural differences, HIV, minority health, sexual practices, and a demonstrated competence in working with persons of color, and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community.
- Community-based Case Management, housing services and employment training experience desired.
- Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications and other computer applications required.
- Reliable transportation, driver’s license and proof of auto insurance required.
Background and reference checks will be conducted. In accordance with Equitas Health’s Drug-Free Workplace Policy, pre-employment drug testing will be administered. Hours may vary, including working some evenings and weekends based on workload. Individuals are not considered applicants until they have been asked to visit for an interview and at that time complete an application for employment. Completing the application does not guarantee employment. EOE/AA
Established in 1984, Equitas Health is a regional not-for-profit community-based healthcare system and federally qualified community health center look-alike. Its expanded mission has made it one of the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) healthcare organizations. With 22 offices in 12 cities, it serves more than 67,000 individuals in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia each year through its diverse healthcare and social service delivery system focused around: primary and specialized medical care, retail pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, HIV/STI prevention, advocacy, and community health initiatives.