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South Middlesex Opportunity Council FES Rehousing Specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts

SUMMARY

The FES Housing Specialist provides assistance to assigned homeless families placed in shelter units in order to help them move to safe and permanent housing as quickly as possible. Using a Housing First approach, they will provide a coordinated housing search of private market rate housing, as well as various subsidized housing programs. Participate as a member of each shelter team; provide coordinated services and advocacy to support the families in obtaining affordable housing. In addition to helping families achieve their rehousing plans, the Housing Specialist will develop relationships with outside landlords and community providers to assist in the identification of affordable housing options for homeless families. Each Housing Specialist will be responsible for a caseload of up to 15 families from both congregate and scattered site settings.

BENEFITS TO WORKING AT SMOC

We offer full-time employees a myriad of benefits including major medical and dental, long term disability and life insurance, 403b retirement plan, tuition assistance and remission, 12 paid holidays per year, paid sick time, paid bereavement time and generous accrued paid vacation time. We believe in work-life balance. We don’t just say we have great benefits we actually live it!

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Promote a Housing First approach to shorten shelter stays, partnering with the case management and stabilization team to stabilize families and reduce re-entry into shelter.

  • Assist the Shelter and Rehousing Manager with placements in both congregate and scattered site units, which includes ensuring that congregate units are ready and fully equipped/furnished prior to the arrival of the family, greeting the family at the unit, and conducting a tour and orientation to the unit and area upon arrival

  • Complete an Initial Intake on Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) within 48 hours of a family’s arrival to shelter, as well as a 20-Mile Touchpoint, and then upon family’s exit, complete an Exit Assessment and State Exit Touchpoint.

  • Complete an in-depth housing history.

  • Utilize a trauma-informed approach and motivational interviewing to provide a strengths-based approach with clients.

  • Provide housing search assistance to clients, including assistance and advocacy with the subsidy application process and / or access funds and maximize income in order to obtain and maintain permanent housing.

  • Work collaboratively with Case Manager and System Navigators to assess each family’s housing and supportive service needs to determine if short-term financial assistance can be accessed to rapidly re-house the family.

  • Develop a monthly Rehousing Plan for each family and work collaboratively with the case manager and the family to assist them in accomplishing the rehousing tasks and transitioning into housing.

  • Work with clients to complete the HomeBase application, subsidized applications and negotiate a lease with the landlord.

  • Coach clients on how to present themselves positively with landlords and property managers.

  • Maintain client files to include all housing related documents and materials.

  • Provide client transportation for all housing related appointments using the SMOC vehicles.

  • Engage all clients by understanding and addressing their needs whether within or outside of the scope of work.

  • Attend and participate in engagement team meetings as requested and communicate effectively with clients and staff in other areas.

  • Maintain confidentiality of clients, employees and agency information in accordance with federal and state laws and funder requirements.

  • Ensure compliance with program/department, agency and /or funder requirements, as well as SMOC policies

  • and procedures.

  • Other duties as assigned.

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred and/or 2 years relevant work experience in social services or housing services with low-income, minority and disabled individuals.

  • Bilingual preferred (Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese are high needs)

  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule

  • Must have a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and meet insurance standards

  • Sensitivity to low-income people of diverse backgrounds

  • Ability to work independently.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIP

  • Directly reports to Shelter and Rehousing Manager.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be able to sit or stand for a prolonged period

  • Ability to ascend/descend multiple flights of stairs

  • Ability to drive

  • Must be able to lift and carry up to 25 pounds

  • Must be able to attend to light maintenance tasks.

  • Must be able to operate a computer and complete extensive paperwork.

WORKING CONDITIONS

Desk space is provided in a homelike congregate shelter setting. Company van is available with advance scheduling for transportation of residents. As part of the responsibilities of this position, the Housing Specialist will have direct or incidental contact with clients served by SMOC in various programs funded or administered through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. A successful background check is required.

We are equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace.

Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00 pm

35 hours per week

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