Community Support Specialist II

Position Hours: 
Full Time
Reports to: 
Director of Housing Assistance Programs
Expected Schedule: 
37.5 hours per week, Monday-Friday, with some weekend and evening responsibilities as needed
Hourly Wage: 
The starting hourly rate for this position is $19.49 commensurate with a candidate’s experience
Additional Compensation Notes: 
Full time benefits include $0 deductible Health Plan through Highmark BCBS, Dental and Vision insurance, 23 PTO days for the first full year and 11 holidays, life insurance/STD/LTD, and a 401k match.
Please send cover letter and resume to: 

Please send a resume and cover letter to Seth Abrams, Director of Housing Assistance Programs, at sabrams@chscorp.org by 12/20/18 with interviews to follow.

Functional Definition: 

The Cultivating Health for Success 2.0 (CHFS 2.0) Community Support Specialist II (CSS II) works under the direction of the Director of Housing Assistance Programs to provide housing and supportive service coordination and counseling to the participants of the CHSP 2.0 housing program in concert with UPMC staff. The goal of the CHSP program is to assist participants in stabilizing their housing, health conditions and support systems by working in collaboration with UPMC staff to decrease un-planned care utilization and increase housing stability. The CSS works independently and collaboratively with the UPMC team towards these goals, however, they are expected to consult with the program director as needed. Other duties include: community building, daily progress documentation, continued maintenance and improvement of the program, attendance and participation at staff meetings, assistance to the larger housing assistance programs of CHS, and performance of other administrative, financial, and programmatic duties pursuant to program guidelines and regulations.
CHS uses the Housing First and Harm Reduction service delivery models, assisting clients with housing as the immediate need without prerequisites to abstain from any harmful behavior prior to being housed or receiving assistance. We help clients identify their own goals and support them to discover safer alternatives.

Responsibilities and Duties: 

Service Coordination-Participant Involvement
1. Provide individual assessment of participant needs. Assist the individual in meeting their goals. This includes a heavy emphasis on goal planning with the need for income, affordable and appropriate housing, and other supportive services.
2. Provide assistance in locating and securing housing including landlord relations and independent living skills development.
3. Coordinate with the treatment team to provide referral services to appropriate referral base, such as drug and alcohol, medical, mental health, housing, vocational, and education.
4. Establish a supportive relationship with participants to assist them in improving their understanding of themselves, including basic issues like respect for differences, individual uniqueness, creating and maintaining relationships, and values.
5. Advocate for appropriate entitlements, benefits, and for access to appropriate services with other agencies.
6. Encourage and support clients to connect and utilize resources in their communities and build community linkages.
7. Conduct monthly home visits to ensure habitability standards are being met.
8. Perform routine recertification to include budgeting, assessment of barriers and support systems, and progress on goal plans.
9. Facilitate case consultations as needed.
Service Coordination-Administrative Involvement
1. Maintenance of progress notes in the CHS database and creation/maintenance of paper records.
2. Paperwork process related to fiscal and the CHS database.
3. Generate statistical and written reports as requested by their supervisor.
4. Perform routine and random file monitoring to ensure data quality and all documentation is accounted for program-wide. Work with fellow staff to correct any deficiencies.
5. Act as a task manager for interns working across multiple housing programs.
6. Provide assistance to staff with crisis intervention and problem-solving with program participants.
Service Coordination-Programmatic Involvement
1. Participate in scheduled CHS staff meetings and other related scheduled meetings.
2. Participate in designated interagency meetings and case conferences.
3. Maintain daily communication with different UPMC staff regarding mutual clients and service coordination efforts.
4. Communicate with the CHS staff, other service providers and landlord/building management as needed and appropriate regarding participant issues.
5. Maintain open communication and work cooperatively with other CHS staff to establish and fulfill overall agency and program goals and objectives.
6. Assist other homeless assistance staff, both management and program, as needed.
7. Consult with the program director on strategies to improve the effectiveness of the programs, given agency and program mission and working practices.
8. Network and cooperate with external agencies to access appropriate services for all participants of the program.

Minimum Qualifications: 

1. Equivalent work, education, and life experience typically gained by a Masters of Social Work degree and 5 years of experience in the social service field or 7 years case management/service coordination experience. Licensed Social Work certification preferred.
2. Clinical experience with mental health/Dual Diagnosed/behavioral health/Drug & Alcohol strongly preferred.
3. Trained and ability to train others in harm reduction, trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, and crisis management.
4. Adhere and promote the CHS Core Values in all aspects of the work: Quality, Respect, Relevance, Advocacy and Equity.
5. Strong history and understanding of work across community resources, public benefits, local social service agencies, and assessment skills.
6. Experience with helping the homeless preferred.
7. Exceptional organizational, communication and case management skills.
8. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
9. Sensitivity toward individuals and families in need of program services.
10. Computer literacy with a working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel.
11. Demonstrated ability to maintain professionalism even when dealing with difficult circumstances.
12. Willingness to accept tasks and responsibilities that help to enhance and improve the program and achieve a high level of customer service provision.
13. Sound interpersonal and problem solving skills.
14. Ability to set priorities and work autonomously.
15. Ability to schedule and manage multiple job responsibilities efficiently and effectively.
16. Must have reliable transportation and ability to travel independently. Significant travel throughout the County is expected. The administrative base office is in the Strip District.

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