Family Supportive Housing Advocate

Employer:
COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter)
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Location: Chittenden County,
About the Job

If you’re looking for an opportunity to do meaningful work in your community, join the passionate, community minded team at the Committee on Temporary Shelter! For 40 years COTS has been working in Chittenden County to creatively find solutions to end homelessness; we aren’t afraid to try new things. We are looking for team members with a passion for doing good and creative thinking. COTS offers a competitive benefits package including access to healthcare, retirement savings, and robust time off, as well as benefits focused on supporting human services professionals with mental and emotional wellbeing.

COTS strives to create a supportive, collaborative and fun work environment…consider joining us on our mission to end homelessness!

The Family Supportive Housing Program aims to reduce the incident and duration of child and family homelessness in Vermont by supporting families with minor children who are currently experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness to transition to, and sustain, stable housing through targeted provision of case management, service coordination and coordinated access to affordable housing. Family Supportive Housing provides intensive, customized, case management services and service coordination to families experiencing homelessness who present with a higher degree of complexity and service need. The FSH program duration is two years, and advocates will be partnered with their families for the duration of the program.

The primary responsibilities of the FSH Advocate include but are not limited to:

• Manage between 12 and 15 clients as part of the caseload.
• Regularly meet with clients both inside and outside of the office to assess housing needs and complete intake, following grant protocol guidelines.
• Provide training and referrals to clients regarding financial empowerment, life skills, tenant education, parent and child resiliency, and support towards addiction recovery.
• Assist clients in the preparation of Individual Service Plans (ISP) to determine their goals and assist with self-advocacy with relation to housing and family services.
• Engage in advocacy and collaboration with community partners and agencies on behalf of families.
• Coordinate parent/child education with a Strengthening Families framework and support the development of family protective factors.
• Coordinate various plans among appropriate community partners, particularly in the areas Family Services, Reach-Up, and employment related supports. Engage in general advocacy with a focus on the goal of successfully obtaining permanent and safe housing for clients.
• Develop opportunities for employment for FSH participants in collaboration with the local employment consultants and job coaches.
• Identify and access additional appropriate resources for families that have not yet been utilized.
• Attend all mandated training and be available for additional training opportunities as identified supervisor.
• Build and maintain positive working relationships with other FSH providers and community partners.
• Requires ability to travel locally. This position does require the ability to travel within the Chittenden County area to meet clients either in their home environment or elsewhere. Must be comfortable with travel and visiting clients in their home.

Experience, Skill & Education Requirements:

• A high school degree or equivalent with a minimum of one (1) year of case management experience in a human services role required; prior experience in housing services strongly preferred.
• Undergraduate degree in Social Work, Public Health, Criminal Justice, Public Policy, or other related field preferred.
• Combination of experience and coursework will be considered.
• Demonstrated ability to handle conflict and crisis management required.
• Demonstrated ability to build and maintain working relationships with internal and external partners.
• Advanced computer literacy skills required, including the ability to use Microsoft Office products and systems such as our HMIS.
• Prior experience with individuals experiencing homelessness and crisis intervention, as well as knowledge of resources and services for individuals and families is a plus.
• Prior experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including the ability to work with individuals with mental health, medical, substance abuse, domestic and sexual violence experiences, and employment issues required.
• Knowledge of resources and services for individuals and families, including federal and state housing subsidy programs and affordable housing systems is a plus.
• Ability to read and understand housing laws, regulations, contracts, and other documents.

All positions at COTS require a commitment to our mission: Advocating for long-term solutions to end homelessness and provide emergency shelter, services, and long-term housing for those who are experiencing homelessness or are marginally housed.

This is a full-time position with benefits. To apply, submit a cover letter explaining why this position is of interest to you and your resume to jobs@cotsonline.org.

We are a team of passionate individuals who believe in the value and dignity of every human life. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer; we do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We embrace diversity and encourage all to apply.

Employer's Approach to Diversity, Equity, & Belonging

Because Everyone Deserves a Home: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at COTS

COTS believes in the value and dignity of every human life. Our dedication to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is not just an aspect of our mission and values, it is at the core of who we are. We strive to foster a safe, welcoming, and supportive space for all. To achieve this, we are committed to the following actions:

•We continuously collect and review feedback from those we serve and those we work with to ensure that we are living our values and treating everyone with dignity and respect.
•We acknowledge that members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities are disproportionately impacted by homelessness. We actively work to ensure the services we offer and the support we provide are in alignment with the needs of these and other marginalized communities.
•We aim to recruit team members that reflect the diversity of our community and those we serve. Beyond recruitment, once an individual is part of our team, we focus on cultivating a culture that allows all members of Team COTS to bring their authentic selves to work.
•We invest the time and resources necessary to continually improve our understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, through intentional education, celebration, and reflection on our current practices.

We must intentionally address all barriers to accessing housing, the inequities in our systems, and the evolving needs of our community. We know that we are not there yet, that the work never ends, and that we can always improve.

Wage or Salary
Starting at $22.00/hour