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Simpson Housing Services

Family Advocate: Passage Community and Rental Assistance Program

17 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Department 17
Employment Type Full-time FT-BE
Minimum Experience Mid-level
Compensation $36,500 to $38,500

Why Work For Simpson?

Our Mission is to house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness. We believe that everybody has the right to safe and affordable housing; we strive to strive to create a collaborative community with the individuals we serve, within Simpson, and with the greater community; and we advocate against the injustices of society that cause homelessness and poverty. On a daily basis, we celebrate and embrace the uniqueness and dignity of every person and encourage people to draw upon their strengths and promote the power of self-advocacy.

Simpson Housing Services began as an emergency overnight shelter in the basement of Simpson United Methodist Church in 1982. Simpson has since become a leading nonprofit providing assistance to people experiencing homelessness. In response to un-met community needs, our programs have grown to include emergency shelter, single adult supportive housing, and family supportive housing. We work across the metro area, partnering with landlords and developers to find affordable housing for all families and individuals. At any given time, we provide supportive services to 100 individuals and 200 families with over 400 children.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY & RACIAL JUSTICE

Simpson Housing Services is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to the principles of diversity. Diversity continues to be our primary focus in staffing and hiring, as it is important to us that our staff demographics be representative of the population demographics whom we serve. As an affirmative action employer, we actively seek and encourage applications from women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and individuals with protected veteran status.

How Can You Contribute?

This position is part of a program designed to assist individuals facing homelessness by providing affordable housing and case management in accordance with the mission and purpose of Simpson Housing Services.

The Passage Community Family Advocate is part of the supportive housing team at Simpson Housing Services. The goal of the team is to provide effective support services to homeless families.

Family Housing Program goals

Families will develop self-advocacy skills that will allow them to reach goals of:

  • locating and retaining stable, affordable housing
  • increased economic resource
  • youth educational stability

Responsibilities

Provide effective case management to program participants:

  • Complete intake and assist with housing placement of new participants.
  • Orient participants to service polices/procedures.
  • Meet with participants to strengthen family functioning- weekly with Passage Community families, monthly with RAP families.
  • Assist participants in developing goals focused on improving stability and self-sufficiency and monitor progress.
  • Assist participants to connect with appropriate community resources and advocacy for goals.
  • Provide transportation and accompany residents to appointments related to their goals.
  • Follow SHS guidelines regarding participants’ program agreements with SHS. This can include setting up family support meetings and following through with violation and termination procedures when necessary.

Assist participants to increase family stability:

  • Provide on-going support, guidance, and referrals on parenting and healthy family functioning.
  • Support and refer participant families who are struggling with mental health concerns that are impacting their housing.
  • Initiate and participate in collaborative meetings with individuals from other community support programs who are providing services to families.
  • Plan and implement regular enrichment programs for parents and children (Passage Community Families only).
  • Complete ASQ and ASQ:SE developmental assessments with parents of children birth to age 5. Connect families with appropriate early childhood resources to address any areas of concern or identified needs. (Passage Community Families only).
  • Collaborate with SHS Early Childhood Specialists and Education Support Advocates to make referrals and coordinate services when appropriate.

Assist participants with housing stability:

  • Provide information to participant families regarding housekeeping, care of property, and expectations of their leases.
  • Assist participants to address barriers to housing: such as a lack of proper ID for self or children, poor credit, evictions on record, etc.
  • Assist participants with the location of permanent housing.
  • Provide crisis intervention services to participant families to ensure housing stability.
  • Assist participant to connect with furniture and other necessary household items.

Assist program participants to increase financial stability:

  • Assist participants to access and maintain needed government benefits such as MFIP, SSI, health coverage, and child care.
  • Assist participants to connect with education, training, and/or employment.
  • Assist participants to develop spending plans and promote SHS savings program.

Work as part of an effective team to meet goals of program:

  • Communicate and coordinate services with all team members. Attend weekly team meetings, other required meetings. 
  • Communicate with Property Management Company regarding tenant placement, tenancy concerns, and property issues.
  • Assist with interaction between property management and the housing authority during times of unit turnover.
  • Coordinate with housing specialist for housing placement and tenant education.
  • Sort and distribute in-kind donations.
  • Answer inquiries into SHS and Passage Community through answering the phone or greeting people at the door.

Complete accurate and thorough documentation and record-keeping in a timely manner:

  • Maintain individual files, including case notes, signed data privacy, intake and discharge summaries, and Release of Information.
  • Compile statistical reports for funding sources and program management including entry into data systems.
  • Maintain accurate records including employee time sheets and travel expenses. 
  • Participate with funding reports, grant writing and site visits.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Provide positive representation of SHS through public relations and networking:

  • Interpret and promote the program to constituents, speak to community organizations or church groups.
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with staff, volunteers, participants and other stakeholders.
  • Network with providers of similar services.
  • Participate in professional meetings, workshops, and staff meetings.

Demonstrate essential knowledge, abilities and skills:

  • Ability to work very well independently, with excellent skills in teamwork and collaboration.
  • Ability to be flexible and manage time.
  • Knowledge of Harm Reduction/Housing First Model and commitment to that model.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, positively and professionally with participants, providers, family members and others.
  • Ability to work with individuals from very diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to perform non-traditional tasks while meeting participant needs.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Adhere to a standard framework of boundaries in all interactions with guests, volunteers, staff and public.

Scope of Position

This position handles a caseload of approximately 8 participant families residing at Passage Community and approximately 15 families participating in the RAP. This position provides more intensive weekly services to families at Passage Community and monthly services to families participating in the RAP. The families will be located at Passage Community in South Minneapolis and in scattered-site apartments in Hennepin County.

Participant populations may include those with chemical abuse issues, criminal histories (drug charges, prostitution, fraud, etc.), and/or parenting issues.

Employee may provide back up for other advocates during periods of absence or during times of increased workloads.

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in Human Services or equivalent experience is required.
  • Driver’s License and a vehicle are required.

Desired:

  • Training in working with low-income families, diverse populations, and those who are homeless desired.
  • Knowledge of mental health, chemical dependency, physical or sexual abuse is desired.
  • Minimum of 1-year experience in providing direct social services desired.

Essential Mental Functions

The employee, in collaboration with the participant, must determine the needs of the participants and how best to meet these needs. This means, the employee will assess a participant’s situation to be able to identify more fully the needs of the participants.

The employee must draw on the ability to empathize, problem solve, and the ability to accept people unconditionally with an openness to new ideas.

To interpret policies and guidelines, employee must draw on analytical abilities.

The employee must understand and apply knowledge of homelessness, social support systems, advocacy, tenant law and case management in terms of providing services to families in crisis.

Home visitation requires the employee to be aware of personal safety.

Essential Physical Functions

Employee must be able to hear and speak, in order to communicate with staff and participants in person, on the telephone and in writing. Employee must be able to move about the community and public places (such as apartment buildings). Employee must be able to drive a 15 passenger van.

Percentage time spent away from main office/location:
Time inside: 60%, Time outside: 40%, Agency travel time required: 20%
Travel includes travel within the community including visiting offices at Simpson Housing Services, attending community meetings, and accompanying participants to appointments.

Percentage time spent in direct care (Working directly with participants/individuals we support): 80%

Type of guidance and supervision received: Will participate in regular team meetings as well as bi-weekly direct supervision meetings.

Number of Direct Reports: None

Number of In-direct Reports: May provide volunteer/intern supervision

Budget Responsibility: None

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  • Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Department
    17
  • Employment Type
    Full-time FT-BE
  • Minimum Experience
    Mid-level
  • Compensation
    $36,500 to $38,500
  • Internal Job Code
    17-S-01
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