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The Congregate Housing Specialist provides assistance to assigned homeless families placed in shelter units needing to relocate to safe and permanent housing through coordinated housing search of private market rate housing as well as various subsidized housing programs. Participate as a member of each shelter team; provide coordinated services to support the families in stabilizing and obtaining affordable housing. In addition to helping families achieve their rehousing plans, the Congregate Housing Specialist will develop relationships with outside landlords and community providers to assist in the identification of affordable housing options for homeless families.
Provide housing search assistance to clients, including assistance and advocacy with the subsidy application process and / or access funds and maximize income in order to obtain and maintain permanent housing.
Work collaboratively with Case Manager to assess each familys housing and supportive service needs to determine if short-term financial assistance can be accessed to rapidly re-house the family.
Responsible for providing housing search support for 27 clients. Nine clients will be assisted tri-weekly at each program in order to maintain and develop their housing needs. If there is time sensitive information or documentation then meetings will be set up accordingly for each client.
Consult with Case Managers from both programs regarding the development of the initial Rehousing Plan for each family and work collaboratively to assist families to accomplish the rehousing tasks and transition into housing.
Work with clients to complete the HomeBase application, subsidized applications and negotiate a lease with the landlord.
Coach clients on how to present themselves positively with landlords and property managers.
Maintain client files to include all housing related documents and materials.
Maintain accurate client records, collect and enter all required data into the HMIS database and ETO.
Provide client transportation for all housing related appointments using the SMOC vehicles.
Assist in Case Manager duties in their absence.
Engage all clients by understanding and addressing their needs whether within or outside of the scope of work.
Attend and participate in engagement team meetings as requested and communicate effectively with clients and staff in other areas.
Maintain confidentiality of clients, employees and agency information in accordance with federal and state laws and funder requirements.
Ensure compliance with program/department, agency and /or funder requirements, as well as SMOC policies and procedures.
Other duties as assigned.
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL REQUIREMENTS
Bachelor's degree preferred and/or 2 years relevant work experience in social services or housing services with low-income, minority and disabled individuals.
Must be willing to work a flexible schedule.
Bilingual preferred (Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese are high needs)
Must have valid drivers license, reliable transportation and meet insurance standards.
Sensitivity to low-income people of diverse backgrounds.
Excellent listening skills.
Ability to work independently.
Directly reports to both Program Directors.
Must be able to sit or stand for a prolonged period
Must be able to operate a computer and complete extensive paperwork
Must be able to lift 25 lbs
Must be able to ascend and descend four sets of stairs, as some units are on the 3rd and 4th floor of apartment buildings
Ability to drive a vehicle
As part of the responsibilities of this position, the Dual Shelter Housing Specialist will have direct or incidental contact with clients served by SMOC in various programs funded or administered through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. A successful background check is required.
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