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Simpson Housing Services

Literacy Mentoring Program Coordinator

42 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Department 42
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level
Compensation $36,000 to $40,000

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 Literacy Mentoring Program Coordinator with the Children & Youth Services program, you will coordinate a Literacy Mentoring program for K-5th grade students in the Family Housing program. This position will also provide school and home-based advocacy and case management services to a minimum caseload of 15-20 K through 5th grade students in order to improve the quality of their individual lives, family functioning, coping and life skills, and school success. Services will be provided in participant homes, at Simpson Housing sites, in schools, and libraries.

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

This position is part of the Family Housing Program at Simpson Housing Services. The goal of the program is to provide stable housing and effective support services to homeless families in transition.

The Literacy Mentoring Program is part of the Children & Youth Services and assists families to reach the following goals:

  1. Improved school attendance.
  2. Improved reading and literacy skills.
  3. Increased involvement by parents in child’s education
  4. Improvement in social emotional skills.
  5. Increased enthusiasm for reading and time spent reading.
  6. Addition of a supportive, caring adult in children’s lives.

Hours will be primarily be Mondays to Fridays (9am to 5pm), 1-2 evenings per week and 1-2 Saturdays per month are required. This is a full-time, 40 hours per week position.


Program coordination and development:

  • Coordinate academic support and positive out-of-school time activities for 15-20 students through a mentoring relationship and direct case management with parent and student.
  • Assist with recruitment and screening of volunteer mentors.
  • Assist the Youth Program Manager with initial mentor training and matching.
  • Responsible for ongoing mentor support, supervision, training, and closure.
  • Inform parents through program staff about openings and determine student placement.
  • Provide ongoing supervision of matches.
  • Plan monthly outings for mentors and mentees. 
  • Coordinate and chaperone a minimum of one outing per month.
  • Collect data for evaluation of program and needed support of student (includes collecting attendance, grades, and pre and post-program measures).
  • Work in collaboration with the Family Advocate to support the parent and mentee.
  • Complete accurate and thorough documentation and record-keeping in a timely manner.
  • Work with Youth Program Manager to evaluate and adjust program structure to meet the goals of the program. 

Provide educational advocacy services to children and families:

  • Meet 1:1 monthly with approximately 15 K-5th grade youth. Meetings take place in the school, library, or in home setting. 
  • Connect with each student at least one other time each month. These connections can take place on field trips, Family Housing events, in the school, library, or in home setting.
  • Provide support, develop goal plans, provide information on community resources and make referrals as necessary.
  • Communicate with parents, provide school advocacy, assisting to build relationships between the parents and school staff, establish relationships with relevant school staff.
  • Provide parent resources and support related to the positive, healthy development of their child(ren).
  • Assist in the development of family goals, parent/school communication, and utilization of family strength-based advocacy concepts.
  • Participate in parent/teacher conferences, IEP meetings as appropriate.
  • Offer early grade literacy learning activities to parent to work on at home.
  • Monitor attendance and develop support plans for families with less than 95% attendance.

 Academic Support for K-5th Grade Students:

  • Ensure that K-5th grade students receive approximately 60 minutes of reading tutoring per week.
  • Create individualized lesson plans for each session for students on caseload.
  • Connect with school staff to ensure alignment of reading tutoring with classroom work and gather regular progress update of students.
  • Ensure that the student completes 3 yearly FAST or IGDI reading assessments and conduct regular progress monitoring to guide tutoring interventions.

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

  • Collaborate with team members to support the Literacy Mentoring Program including enrolling students, working with volunteer services manager with locating and training volunteers, and maintain records.
  • Assist with planning and implementation of Family Housing events as needed.
  • Communicate and coordinate services with all team members. Attend weekly team meetings, other required meetings. 
  • Work in conjunction with Family Housing team members to assist in sharing literacy information and education support for all students in Family Housing programs.
  • Sort and distribute in-kind donations.
  • Answer inquiries into SHS through answering the phone or greeting people at the door.

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

  • Maintain case files on youth served, including case notes, resources provided, signed data privacy, intake and discharge summaries, Release of Information, attendance and grades.
  • Compile statistical reports for monthly school attendance.
  • Complete regular reports on assigned programs.
  • Maintain accurate records including employee time sheets and  travel expenses. 
  • Participate with fund development as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 Provide positive representation of SHS through public relations and networking:

  • Communicate and coordinate services with all team members.
  • Attend weekly team meetings, other required meetings.
  • 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, & 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 will coordinate the Literacy Mentoring Program. Services will be provided in participant homes, at Simpson Housing sites, in schools, and libraries.

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 education support advocates during periods of absence or during times of increased workloads.

 Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Education, Human Services, Social Work or Community Development or equivalent knowledge, skills, and experience is required.
  • Must have good organizational abilities, knowledge of youth, and understanding of homelessness.
  • Employee must be able to produce letters and reports of professional quality.
  • Employee must share in Simpson Housing Services mission and values.
  • Driver’s License and a vehicle are required.


  • Minimum of 3 years’ worth of work experience in social services or education preferred.
  • Experience working with low income individuals and/or families in need of housing is highly desired.

Essential Mental Functions

The employee, in collaboration with parents, and school professionals must determine the needs of the youth and how to best meet those needs.  The employee will assess the youth’s situation to be able to identify more fully their needs.

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, youth stages of development and case management in terms of providing services to individuals or 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 van. Employee must be able to lift 25 pounds on an occasional basis.

 Percentage time spent away from main office/location:  
Time inside:  60%, Time outside: 40%, Agency travel time required: 30%
Travel includes travel within the community including but not limited to local schools, attending community meetings, accompanying participants to appointments, chaperoning youth field trips.

Percentage time spent in direct care: 35%

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

Number of Direct Reports: None

Number of In-direct Reports: Provide supervision for mentors

Budget Responsibility: None

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  • Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    $36,000 to $40,000
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