COMMUNITY SUPPORT SPECIALIST UNITED WAY STABILIZATION PROGRAM
The Community Support Specialist (CSS) for the United Way Housing Stabilization Program works under the direction of the Director of Supportive Services to provide case management, service coordination and support to families experiencing a temporary set-back that affects their housing stability.
The goal of the United Way Housing Stabilization program is to provide temporary, targeted assistance to participants in order to help them stabilize their housing situation and prevent homelessness. The CSS will use diversion strategies (eviction prevention), strong problem-solving skills, and assist families in obtaining needed services (referrals to programs, applications for entitlements/income, searching for affordable housing, etc.).
The CSS works independently towards these goals, however, s/he is 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.
Service Coordination-Participant Involvement
- Provide assessment of participant needs. Assist the individual in meeting their goals. This includes obtaining and retaining sustainable income, affordable and appropriate housing and other supportive services as determined by the support plan.
- Provide assistance in building skills such as landlord relations and independent living skills.
- Provide referral services to appropriate referral base, such as D&A, medical, MH, housing, vocational, educational and family services.
- 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.
- Advocate for appropriate entitlements and for access to appropriate services with other agencies.
- Encourage and support clients to connect and utilize resources in their communities and build community linkages.
- Conduct ongoing home visits to ensure progress is being made.
- Perform routine recertification to include budgeting, assessment of barriers and support systems, and progress on goal plans.
Service Coordination-Administrative Involvement
- Maintenance of progress notes in the CHS database and creation/maintenance of paper records.
- Paperwork process related to fiscal and the CHS database.
- Generation of statistical and written reports as requested by her/his supervisor.
Service Coordination-Programmatic Involvement
- Participate in scheduled CHS staff meetings and other related scheduled meetings.
- Communicate with the CHS staff, other service providers and landlord/building management as needed and appropriate regarding participant issues.
- Maintain open communication and work cooperatively with other CHS staff to establish and fulfill overall agency and program goals and objectives.
- Assist other homeless assistance staff, both management and program, as needed.
- Consult with the program director on strategies to improve the effectiveness of the programs, given agency and program mission and working practices.
- Network and cooperate with external agencies to access appropriate services for all participants of the program.
- Bachelors Degree in a social service related field with 4 years experience in case management and/or service coordination; or a combination of work or equivalent level of education, work and/or life experience.
- Adhere and promote the CHS Core Values in all aspects of the work: Quality, Respect, Relevance, Advocacy and Equity.
- Experience with helping people with hosing instability.
- Experience with behavioral and mental health service coordination preferred.
- Must have experience working with other social/supportive services.
- Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
- Sensitivity towards individuals and families in need of program services, especially those with behavioral, mental and physical health barriers.
- Exceptional organizational, communication and case management skills.
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
- Commitment to the project and the agency’s mission.
- Computer literacy with a working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel.
- Demonstrated ability to maintain professionalism even when dealing with difficult circumstances.
- Willingness to accept tasks and responsibilities that help to enhance and improve the program and achieve a high level of customer service provision.
- Ability to schedule and manage multiple job responsibilities efficiently and effectively.
- Have reliable transportation and the ability to travel independently. Significant travel