Safe Horizon's mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities.
The Housing Specialist position provides assistance, information, and support to residents in domestic violence shelters around securing safe, appropriate housing using subsidies and/or other available resources in the city that suit the individual’s needs and to maintain residential stability. Working in conjunction with the case management staff, under the supervision of the Supervising Social Worker, the Housing Specialist is responsible for developing the best possible safe housing plan together with each resident in the program. The housing specialist must also be aware of and understand current housing subsidies, public benefit programs, and develop resources to include establishing relationships with landlords and brokers.
At Safe Horizon, we believe our clients are the experts in their own lives. In order to help a survivor of violence, we must support their right to make their own decisions and choose their own path based on what is most important to them. This is the foundation of client-centered practice. At Safe Horizon, Client Centered Practice means supporting clients as they make difficult choices in their lives around their safety.
Essential Job Functions:
A Housing Specialist is responsible for the following:
· Assess each clients housing needs within 2 weeks of admission
· Assist in determination of resident’s eligibility for government-financed housing programs and benefit programs
· Identify, obtain, and assist documents needed for applications for permanent housing
· Assist in the escorting of residents to services and activities outside of the facility, such as other agencies, income maintenance center, and housing referrals entities
· Identify and maintain resources of key information and individuals in various agencies (HRA, NYCHA, HPD) to facilitate the most current and accurate permanent housing application processes
· Develops and maintains a database of available housing resources as well as other relevant community resources (i.e., banks, utility company contacts, grocery stores, pharmacies, transportation, etc.)
· Works towards identifying new housing opportunities for residents through ongoing networks
· Interfaces with landlord and management companies to establish working relationships
· Prepare (and if deemed appropriate escort) resident for permanent housing interviews.
· Assist resident to develop daily living skills by delivering activity of daily living training in areas such as budgeting, accessing community resources, home repairs, and landlord/tenant rights.
· Collaboration with other team members to ensure that discharge plan meets the need of the resident to include safety and self sufficiency. Refer and link to appropriate community resources such as medical, mental health, alcohol and other drug treatment, and employment and job training programs relevant to maintaining or securing safe, permanent housing
· Participates in team meetings, case finding and outreach activities
· Assist the Case Management teams by helping with creation of an initial and on-going plans; learning more about resources; and making recommendations around coordination of public benefits and employment for residents as they pertain to securing housing
· Possible follow-up with resident for up to six months via letters, telephone calls and face to face (if resident consents) to ensure safe and successful integration in the new community
· A bachelor degree or equivalent education and work experience
· one (1) year of relevant community-based residential management or social service agency experience required
· Prior experience performing case management functions or eligibility determinations for community-based social welfare organizations desirable.
· Knowledge of current, relevant housing subsidies, laws, regulations, and codes essential
· Knowledge of a variety of community housing resources to support victims of violence and obtaining/maintaining permanent housing
· Knowledge of public benefits eligibility and problem solving and how it intersects with housing subsidies and eligibility
· Must possess a satisfactory skill level with oral and written communication, basic mathematical calculations, and problem solving techniques
· Knowledge of and sensitivity to domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and sexual abuse is required
· Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite is required
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