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Simpson Housing Services

Shelter Advocate - Overnights ONLY

50 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Department 50
Employment Type Part-time PT-BE (20-28 hours)
Minimum Experience Entry-level
Compensation $14 per hour

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.


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?

As a Shelter Advocate, you will provide hospitable, safe, secure, clean, supportive, and affirming environment for single adult men and women in need of overnight shelter. You will also provide advocacy, support, direction, resources and referrals to shelter guests as needed.

Hours for this position are between 24 to 32 hours per week.

Note to Applicants:

To apply for this position, please submit SHS Employment Application in addition to a Resume.


Facilitate positive on-site shelter operations:

  • Know, communicate, and uphold shelter rules. 
  • Read shelter notes and request updates from both staff and volunteers.
  • Coordinate paperwork (as appropriate), greet and screen guests at the opening of the shelter.
  • Greet, update, and supervise interns, volunteers and meal groups.
  • Flexibility to provide awake overnight presence when occasional coverage is needed.
  • Provide a hospitable environment for guests and volunteers.
  • Assist with shelter maintenance as needed including: clean bedding, storage, and unused lockers, put away donations, clean refrigerator.
  • Be available for questions and information for all shelter guests.
  • Be aware of needed supplies and retrieve from the appropriate location. 
  • Complete daily duties of shelter staff as required.

Provide quality coordination of services:

  • Communicate and coordinate services with all team members. 
  • Attendance and timeliness for scheduled shifts, weekly team meetings, and other required meetings.
  • Ability to assist and support guests with crisis and conflict management issues.
  • Communicate regularly with Supervisor.
  • Be informed of issues of homelessness and the shelter system.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Provide relevant support and advocacy to assigned guest caseload:

  • Meet regularly with guests to determine needs.
  • Provide support services including linkage with appropriate community resources and advocacy.
  • Assist with housing placement as needed.

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

  • Update statistics on computer, if trained to do so.
  • Log clear and concise case notes of daily events.
  • Maintain accurate records including employee time sheets.
  • Maintain accurate ledgers and receipts when handling safe deposits for guests.
  • 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 HMIS data systems.  
  • Participate with funding reports and site visits.

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.
  • Professional behavior, dress, and conduct are expected in all aspects of work with guests as well as contact with the volunteers and public.

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.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, positively and professionally with participants, providers and others.
  • Ability to work with individuals from very diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to use necessary computer systems with competence and attention to detail.
  • 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 works on-site at the Overnight Emergency Shelter. The Overnight Emergency Shelter serves 44 single men and 22 single women each night. Each advocate is assigned a small caseload of shelter guests to assist with housing and other needs. This is a position that includes daytime, evening, nights, and weekends with possible overnight hours on an emergency basis.

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

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

Hours for this position are between 24 to 32 hours per week.

Job Requirements:

  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Overnight shifts and transportation required.


  • Fluency in written and spoken Spanish preferred.
  • Adequate written and verbal communication skills.
  • Patience, flexibility, ability to listen, assertiveness and compassion. 
  • Ability to be decisive and effective under pressure.
  • Ability to maintain composure in crisis situations.
  • Knowledge or experience with low-income and homeless populations is preferred.

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.

To provide adequate assistance to 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 and social support systems in terms of providing services to participants in crisis.

Essential Physical Functions

The 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 shelter location. Employee must be able to lift up to 40lbs on an occasional basis.

Percentage time spent away from main office/location: 
Time inside: 80%, Time outside: 20%, Agency travel time required: 5%

Percentage time spent in direct care service (includes travel time): 90%

Type of guidance and supervision received: Will participate in weekly team meetings and supervision meetings as needed

Number of Direct Reports: None

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

Budget Responsibility: None

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  • Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Part-time PT-BE (20-28 hours)
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    $14 per hour
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