POSITION: Housing Advocate, Permanent Supportive Housing Program

REPORTS TO: Manager of Supportive Housing

LOCATION: Providence, RI and Woonsocket, RI

SCHEDULE: Full-time (37.5 hours/week)

COMPENSATION: Nonexempt position; hourly range is $23 to $25 per hour based on experience. Eligible for benefits that include health/dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 15 paid holidays, accrued vacation/sick/personal time, an Employee Assistance Plan, and a 401(k) plan with employer match.

ABOUT US:  Sojourner House is a comprehensive victim services agency that provides crisis intervention services, shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, clinical counseling, immigration advocacy, community-based programs, education prevention programming, a growing housing development program, and other supportive services to individuals and families impacted by abuse.  Our mission is to promote healthy relationships by providing culturally sensitive support, advocacy, housing, and education for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking; and to effect systems change.  Our organizational values are rooted in commitment, innovation, trust, and empowerment.  The agency has grown from a small, grassroots organization into a robust statewide agency with over 60 full time employees across multiple locations and an annual budget that is approaching $9 million.  To learn more about our work, please visit www.sojournerri.org. We are also active on social media at @sojournerri.

POSITION SUMMARY:   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 needs 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 in the Housing Program to provide clients with support and empowerment as they seek to rebuild their lives.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide individual case management services to clients in Sojourner House’s Permanent Supportive Housing program.  This includes assessment of the client’s needs using Housing First Model and Trauma-Informed Care, weekly 1:1 client meetings and in-person visits to their apartments.  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.
  • 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.

EDUCATION: An Associate orBachelor Degree in social work, psychology or related field, or equivalent experience, preferred but not required

EXPERIENCE AND SPECIAL SKILLS:

  • A minimum of two to three years experience in human or social services
  • One to two years of experience providing mental health or substance use/harm reduction services
  • Experience with a Housing First model is strongly preferred
  • Familiarity with domestic violence and/or gender issues
  • Must be organized and demonstrate superior leadership skills
  • Proficiency in Spanish is preferred, but not required
  • Computer literacy (Word, Excel, Google Workspace, and general Internet skills)
  • Familiarity working with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Experience developing and delivering community presentations
  • A demonstrated familiarity with LGBTQ+, HIV/AIDS, mental health, and/or substance abuse populations
  • A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle in order to facilitate traveling between the agency’s multiple locations
  • Comfort working individually and in teams
  • Innovative thinking to approaching issues of poverty and service delivery
  • Familiarity with social service services in Rhode Island
  • Applicant must pass a background check
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including one night a week

TO APPLY: Please send a resume and cover letter to resumes@sojournerri.org with the subject line “Housing Advocate, PSH” . Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; early applications are encouraged. To apply via mail, please send all of the requested materials to Sojourner House, Attn: HR/Housing Advocate, 386 Smith St, Providence, RI 02908.

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.