HomeStart offers salary plus a generous benefits package, dynamic staff, flexibility, and a supportive work environment. HomeStart is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. Persons of color and the formerly homeless encouraged to apply.
Homelessness Prevention Program Advocate
- Conduct client assessment and intake to determine eligibility with thoughtfulness and compassion.
- Help people in crisis to problem-solve and develop realistic strategies and "next steps".
- Help clients retain housing by developing an Individualized Service Plan (ISP).
- Link clients with outside resources for ongoing stabilization support.
- Assign tasks to clients as appropriate, with the aim of strengthening self-sufficiency. Monitor progress and provide needed support.
- Communicate and mediate with property managers, attorneys, medical providers, and others to facilitate housing retention.
- Complete file and record-keeping requirements, including program eligibility and requests for rental assistance.
- Assist clients with budgeting and money management.
- Be available to meet with clients in the field when appropriate. This position will require accompanying clients to housing court.
- Cultivate knowledge of area resources and participate in collaborations with other agencies.
- Participate in staff activities, such as monthly meetings and other activities as scheduled.
- Complete required data entry in a timely fashion. Maintain client files as prescribed and case notes that log all necessary client information.
- Two years of experience providing case management and/or housing stabilization to homeless, at-risk or otherwise vulnerable populations; working knowledge of landlord-tenant issues preferred.
- Patient, respectful demeanor toward people in crisis; dedication to helping vulnerable individuals stabilize their housing and increase their self-sufficiency.
- Ability to work with and set appropriate boundaries with clients who are from diverse backgrounds and who have multiple personal challenges, such as mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence.
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
- Experienced with computerized databases, preferably HUD Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
- Bilingual language capacity strongly preferred.
Rapid Re-Housing Advocate
HomeStart is hiring a Rapid Rehousing Advocate who will work to assist individuals experiencing homelessness with a rapid transition from emergency shelter to permanent housing. The Housing Advocate will work alongside shelter case management to support households with comprehensive housing search, assistance with the lease-up process, and follow up correspondence to ensure housing stability.
- Assist homeless individuals and families with all aspects of housing search and placement into permanent housing: work with clients to devise an appropriate housing search strategy; complete housing applications; prepare necessary documentation; negotiate with landlords, housing authorities, and realtors.
- Conduct outreach activities to generate client referrals from shelters and programs for homeless individuals throughout the Greater Boston area.
- Coordinate housing search and lease up activity with related work of shelter case managers and any other partner agencies involved in the process.
- Help clients establish and follow a budget that will allow for housing stability.
- Assist clients with the process of accessing rapid re-housing funds to aid with move-in costs.
- Support working clients in maintaining and maximizing incomes through referrals to employment programs.
- Complete all required computer data-tracking and file documentation on a timely basis.
- Travel throughout Greater Boston to assist with housing search-related activities.
- Other activities as assigned by supervisor.
- One to three years housing search or related experience preferred (case management, property management, community organizing/advocacy).
- Strong advocacy and outreach skills.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Basic math skills required.
- Dedication to helping people who are homeless move beyond shelter.
- Knowledge of subsidized and private housing resources and regulations preferred.
- Experience with homeless adults, recovery population and/or mental health areas preferred.
- Bilingual skills a plus.
- Computer skills required (MS Windows, Word, internet). Data entry skills preferred.
Field-Based Housing Specialist
The Field-Based Housing Specialist will work as part of an interdisciplinary team to provide coordinated access to services and on-going housing search to people experiencing homelessness while residing in the city of Cambridge. This position will be primarily co-located at the Cambridge Multi-Service Center with regular field work throughout Cambridge. This position will follow the Multi-Service Center hours of operation, which are: Monday: 8:30am-8pm, Tuesday – Thursday: 8:30am–5pm, and Friday: 8:30am–12pm.
- Coordinated Access: Work as part of an interdisciplinary team with CCAN staff, the City of Cambridge, and homeless service providers throughout Cambridge.
- Provide housing navigation services on a prioritized basis to enable and speed up clients' entry to housing.
- Maintain a presence on-site at select field-based access points throughout the community, and work to build strong relationships with homeless consumers and other community stakeholders.
- Perform other duties as assigned in response to on-going coordinated access program design.
- Housing Search: Assist people experiencing homelessness with all aspects of housing search and placement into permanent housing:
- Work with clients to devise an appropriate housing search strategy;
- Complete housing applications and prepare necessary documentation; negotiate with landlords, housing authorities, realtors, and the like;
- Assist clients with money management skills such as budgeting and setting up a savings plan.
- Carry out related activities such as helping with furniture, moving services and back utility bills.
- Coordinate housing search activity with related work of shelter and transitional program case managers.
- Provide financial assistance from the HomeStart Rental Assistance Fund, if appropriate, and help individuals access other financial resources to facilitate their housing placement.
- Work with HomeStart's stabilization staff to coordinate stabilization once housing placement has been made.
- Complete all paperwork, statistics, and data entry in a timely and thorough manner.
- Remain up-to-date on regulations and programs relevant to client needs.
- Coordinate housing search work through regular meetings with members of HomeStart's Housing Search Team.
- Carry out other related duties as assigned.
- One-to-three years housing search experience or related social service experience, preferably with single, homeless adults, and knowledge of relevant resources.
- Knowledge of public, subsidized, and private housing resources preferred. Demonstrated ability to learn technical information (rules and regulations) necessary to conduct effective housing search.
- Experience working with homeless adults and/or substance abuse/mental health population preferred.
- Good problem-solving skills, patience and persistence in assisting people with the difficulties of housing search. Willing to be flexible according to client needs.
- Good interpersonal skills and ability to work well with diverse groups of people.
- Strong advocacy and outreach skills.
- Dedication to helping homeless people gain self-confidence and setting goals that lead to moving out of the shelter system and becoming successfully integrated into the community.
- Willingness to travel to shelter/transitional program sites and to accompany clients to housing appointments and to view apartments.
- Ability to work independently and as part of team.
- Strong written, verbal and math skills necessary.
- Basic computer skills required.
Housing First Advocate
The Housing First Case Manager will provide housing search and follow-up case management services to individuals who are homeless and living on the streets or in an emergency shelter. Participants have been living on the streets for many years and suffer from mental illness, long histories of substance abuse, major medical conditions, and have limited experience with independent living. Most of the people that we work with on the Housing First team are actively using drugs and/or alcohol and do not follow their medical and mental health treatment plans. The Housing First team takes a harm-reduction approach to helping folks find ways to successfully live in housing and not let their disabilities result in recurrent homelessness.
- Assist some homeless individuals with all aspects of housing search and placement into permanent housing: work with clients to devise an appropriate housing search strategy; complete housing applications and prepare necessary documentation; negotiate with landlords, housing authorities, and realtors.
- Conduct outreach to potential landlords.
- Support placed individuals in becoming independent and successful in their housing by providing follow-up case management services.
- Assist clients in accessing any income or health benefits and other resources for which they are in need or for which they are eligible.
- Provide crisis intervention around mental health, substance abuse, medical and housing-related crises.
- Help participants with activities of daily living including household cleaning, hygiene awareness, diplomacy in dealing with landlords/other tenants, healthy meal planning, etc.
- Work closely with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless to help clients successfully maintain their health and housing.
- Assist participants’ transition from homeless-based to community-based resources.
- Utilizing a harm reduction model, support participants in maintaining focus on their substance abuse recovery and mental health stability.
- Travel throughout Greater Boston conducting home visits and accompanying clients to their provider meetings.
- Assist with budgeting skills and other activities of daily living.
- Case management experience.
- Mental health and substance abuse knowledge and/or experience.
- Positive attitude; energetic; dedicated to ending homelessness.
- Able to work occasional evening hours as needed.
- Good with numbers; good budgeting skills.
- Ability to work well as part of a team.
- Interested in enhancing and learning new professional skills.
- Sense of humor.
- Accountability, good time management, and organizational ability.
Fundraising Event Volunteer
HomeStart throws several fundraising events throughout the year. If you are interested in volunteering or participating in one of our annual events, contact Michelle Chandler at 617.542.0338 x230 or via e-mail at Chandler@HomeStart.org.