POSITION: Housing Advocate (PSH)

LOCATION:  Woonsocket, RI

SCHEDULE: Full-time 37.50 worked hours per week. A flexible schedule may be required, including an evening shift during the week.

COMPENSATION:  $23 to $25 per hour, depending on experience. Staff members are also eligible for paid time off, health/dental insurance, a 401(k) plan and matching employer contributions, a life insurance plan, long-term disability coverage, access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and professional development opportunities.

ABOUT US:  Sojourner House is a comprehensive domestic violence and sexual assault agency that provides residential, educational, and community-based interventions to families and individuals impacted by abuse. We have offices in Providence and Woonsocket and programs that operate statewide. Our goal is to help our clients rebuild their lives, piece by piece, through a variety of services. All of our programs work from the premise that violence is an unacceptable means to solving interpersonal conflict, and we encourage only non-violent methods of working out conflicts. 

POSITION OVERVIEW:   The Housing Advocate (PSH Program) is responsible for helping to execute the different components of Sojourner House’s housing program and provide support to Sojourner House’s larger residential team as well.  The Advocate will primarily provide direct services and programming to clients in our permanent supportive housing programs. Our Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program houses chronically homeless individuals who are disabled, which includes those with mental health and substance use diagnoses. Some of these clients need assistance with overcoming barriers to attend to daily living skills through education and support.  The Advocate will also provide back-up advocacy support to shelter clients. The Advocate will work alongside other staff of the Housing Program to provide clients with support and empowerment as they seek to rebuild their lives.

PRINCIPAL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide individual case management services to clients in Sojourner House’s Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program.  This includes assessment of the client’s needs using Housing First Model and Trauma-Informed Care, weekly 1:1 meetings and in-person visits to their apartment.  Develop action plans with clients that outline goals related to housing stability, education, employment, child care and benefit acquisition.  Assist clients in obtaining appropriate substance abuse, mental health, and/or medical services as needed.
  • Provide supportive services to individuals facing mental health and substance use challenges, utilizing a housing first , person-centered and recovery-oriented approach.
  • Participate in team meetings and case conferences to discuss client progress and plan therapy.
  • Assist with housing clinics that are held regularly in Providence, Woonsocket, Central Falls, and West Warwick.
  • Develop and implement programming to benefit clients in the housing program, which can include units statewide.  At a minimum, the advocate will facilitate 1-2 support groups, meetings and/or programs per week that will benefit housing clients and other community members.  The advocate will regularly assess the needs of Sojourner House’s housing clients and offer programs reflective of those needs.
  • Working with the Youth Advocate and/or the Child and Adolescent Clinician to coordinate children’s services and make referrals as necessary for permanent supportive housing families with minor children, which may include but are not limited to:  enrollment in the local school system, art expressive therapy groups, tutoring sessions, play groups, field trips, after school, recreational and enrichment activities, child care and mental health programs.
  • Answer phone calls, conduct intakes of new clients, and provide referrals and information to potential housing clients.
  • Provide advocacy and coverage as needed at Sojourner House’s Drop-In Advocacy Center in Providence.
  • Provide shelter coverage when needed at Sojourner House’s emergency shelter(s).
  • Monitor and implement housing policies and ensure that residents follow these rules and procedures by creating an environment of trust and community.
  • Complete data entry and submit necessary reports as required for grant compliance.
  • Help in the collection of rent from clients in the rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing program.
  • Address the maintenance needs of housing units as needed.  This may include communication with landlords and property management companies to provide repairs.
  • Stay abreast of RI community housing issues by building and maintaining relationships with housing and social service agencies in Providence, northern Rhode Island, and throughout the state.
  • Prepare and deliver community presentations in Rhode Island on issues related to domestic violence and housing when requested.
  • Support Sojourner House’s philosophy of client empowerment and respect for individual choices.
  • Work as necessary with other residential advocates to help supervise volunteers.
  • Perform other duties as requested by the Senior Director of Housing and/or the Sojourner House management team.

 EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS:

  • A minimum of two years experience in human or social services;
  • 1 – 2 years experience providing mental health or substance use/harm reduction services;
  • Experience working with a Housing First model is strongly preferred;
  • Ability to speak English and Spanish fluently (both written and oral) is preferred; 
  • Familiarity with domestic violence and/or gender issues;
  • Must be organized and demonstrate superior leadership skills;
  • Be computer literate (Word, Excel, Google Workspace, and general Internet skills); 
  • Have familiarity working with individuals of different cultures and backgrounds;
  • Experience developing and delivering community presentations; 
  • Have a demonstrated familiarity with LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS, mental health, and/or substance abuse populations;
  • Have comfort working individually and in teams; 
  • Have a familiarity with social service services in Rhode Island; 
  • Innovative thinking to approaching issues of poverty and service delivery;
  • Possess the ability to lift 25 pounds;
  • Have the ability to work a flexible schedule (subject to change), including evening hours as needed;
  • Applicant must pass a BCI check.
  • Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and reliable access to a vehicle in order to facilitate travel between agency locations for client visits.

TO APPLY:

Please forward a resume, 2-3 professional references, and a cover letter that details how you meet the requirements of the job by email, with the subject line “Housing Advocate (PSH),” to resumes@sojournerri.org. Applications may also be made via mail by sending the materials to Sojourner House, Attn HR/Housing Advocate (PSH), 386 Smith St, Providence, RI 02908. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so early submissions are encouraged. 

Sojourner House is an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. To learn more about Sojourner House, please visit www.sojournerri.org