Our not-for-profit client Stepping Stone is looking for a Housing Focused Outreach Worker in Guelph!
Stepping Stone is a community-based agency that believes in the Housing First philosophies and practices. We strive to improve the quality of life for people who are struggling with chronic homelessness, significant mental health issues and substance misuse. We offer this by providing shelter support and supportive, affordable housing to our participants with individualized, participant-driven support plans. The Stepping Stone team collaborates with community services within Guelph-Wellington to help support these plans and to offer our participants wrap-around supports as needed.
Reporting to the Program Manager, the Housing Focused Outreach Worker will join a team of Housing Stability staff working to end homelessness in the community. This position is community based and will work year-round going to locations known to have individuals who are precariously housed, at risk of homelessness, or experiencing homelessness to actively engage and build relationships in the Guelph-Wellington area.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
- A high level of communication skills in both verbal and written form
- A working knowledge of the Residential Tenancies Act and associated acts
- Interest in working with individuals living with addictions, mental health, psycho/social/physical, educational, emotional and/or environmental concerns in a variety of locations
- Advanced skills to enhance participant motivation in order to make and follow through on decisions related to housing stability, treatment and wellness
- Experience using a Case Management System (i.e. HIFIS) and tools (i.e. VI-SPDAT)
- Ability to work professionally as a team member with staff, participants and community members
- Ability to manage time and multiple tasks with little supervision
- Current First Aid / CPR certification, Naloxone training and Vulnerable Sector Police Check or willingness to obtain at hiring
- A valid Driver’s License, vehicle and insurance (must be willing to travel throughout Guelph and Wellington County)
- Undergraduate degree in Social Services or related field or equivalent combination of education or relevant work experience
Overview of Duties and Responsibilities:
- First point of contact for individuals (adults and families) who are precariously housed and needing community support .
- Receive community referrals and liaise with community partners to set up clients for success.
- Perform intake to determine specific needs and begin a supportive plan to ensure homelessness is avoided such as arranging financial aid, securing last month’s rent, transportation, assisting with any late bills or organizing a translator.
- Give advice on landlord and tenant rights. Assist with mediation when housing is threatened.
- Working with individuals who are new to Guelph who need services such as arranging transportation back to their home city.
- Work directly with individuals (adults and families) that are homeless and have been identified through the Guelph-Wellington Coordinated Entry System to develop an individualized plan to secure permanent housing and coordinate access to services in the community.
- Provide shelter options and a plan for support such as connecting them with community resources in mental health, addiction or treatment options.
- Assist with rentals and to be the link between landlord and tenant and/or to provide advice on tenant rights
- Track all demographic information and housing placement data for Reaching Home statistics.
- Maintain contact with individuals for 30 days after being housed and follow up after 3 months to update data.
- Identify and facilitate referrals to social, health, mental health and addiction resources as appropriate
- Offer harm reduction strategies as well as abstinence strategies based on participant’s intentions and stated needs
- Ensures effective service delivery to the client by documenting information, observations and impressions that may impact a client's case plan
- Complete and maintain client records, email communication and documenting any general concerns
- Complete and update Support team growth and development through collaboration, problem solving and communication
- Attend staff, program and agency meetings as required
Working Environment / Schedule:
- Flexibility to work evenings and weekends when required
- 35 hour regular work week (70 hours / pay period)
- Exposed to stress due to dealing with clients in difficult personal circumstances
Compensation and Benefits:
- $25.00 / hour starting wage
- 2 weeks vacation / year (on an accrual basis)
- 7 sick days / year (on an accrual basis)
- $100 / month cell phone reimbursement & $200 / month gas allowance
- Extended Health & Dental benefit package available after (3) months of employment
- An environment that supports continuous learning