Job Title: Diversion & Housing Specialist
Program Area or Department: Homeless and Prevention Services
Accountability: This position reports to the Program Coordinator.
The Diversion and Housing Specialist is a key team member whose primary responsibilities include providing Diversion and Rapid Resolution services to veterans and families facing a housing crisis and/or potential housing crisis in order to stabilize their housing situation. In addition, the Diversion and Housing Specialist works in conjunction with the Housing specialist to maintain a housing stock of rentals and assist Veterans and families with the rental process.
- Primarily responsible for all homeless diversion and rapid resolution interventions in the service area. Must exhibit advanced skills in outreach, engagement, and rapport building; conflict mediation, problem solving, documentation, data management, and the ability to coordinate and collaborate at a community level.
- Make initial person-to-person contact with clients referred for services within 72 hours.
- Conducts an initial screening of each eligible client’s needs to determine diversion intervention.
- Determine and document each applicant’s eligibility for the Homeless and Prevention Services Department within 2 working days of the initial person-to-person contact with the potential client.
- Work with regional, state, and local VA programs, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, VET centers, and Veterans Benefit Units, to coordinate client appointments for VA benefits identified during the initial screening.
- Work with state and local not-for-profit agencies and other community-based organizations to coordinate client appointments for public benefits and services identified during the initial screening.
- Work with state and local agencies and other community-based organizations to coordinate client appointments for assistance to maintain housing identified during the initial screening if client is ineligible for services.
- Enter all client-specific data into the Homeless Management Information System in compliance with requirements for accuracy, consistency, and timeliness (e.g., upon client entry into the Homeless and Prevention Services Department.
- Build and maintain strong working relationships with local property owners, building managers, real estate agents, and property management companies.
- Work in conjunction with the Housing Specialist to continue to build maintain a data base of rental units.
- Work in conjunction with the Housing Specialist to conduct property inspections – All units are required to be inspected visually, per HUD requirements, prior to move-in.
- Work in conjunction with the Housing Specialist to assist clients in need of housing to identify available units and act as an intermediary with the landlords to find appropriate housing.
Knowledge Skills and Abilities
- Collaborative Skills & Competencies: Ability to form collaborative alliances and contributions in a team oriented work environment.
- Communication Skills & Competencies: Professional written and verbal communication skills in Standard English. Communication and concise articulation of information to others.
- Cultural Competency Skills & Competencies: Adaptable in culturally diverse environments, respect for cultural differences, and comfort level working with “military” and “veteran” cultures.
- Customer Service Skills & Competencies: Ability to build trust using listening skills, conflict resolution, and mediation, and going above and beyond to be helpful and pleasant.
- Coach-ability: Receptive to feedback, willing to learn and embrace continuous improvement.
- Time Management: Manage tasks and deadlines simultaneously.
- Some walking, handling and carrying of light to moderately heavy objects as required. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.
- This position requires the ability to perform a broad range of activities. The position requires full range of motion, including manual and digital dexterity and hand-and-eye coordination. The position requires vision, speech and hearing capacity that is corrected to normal range, or special accommodations made which are sufficient for the completion of assigned tasks.
- The position requires work while seated at a desk, including the use of a computer. The position requires the ability to lift 30 pounds. The position requires occasional work under stressful conditions and during irregular hours.
- The position requires the ability to drive and regular access to a reliable vehicle.
- A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school of higher education.
- At least two years of experience working with veterans/families.
- At least two years of experience working with very low-income individuals/families.
Training Expectations and Opportunities
Within the first three months of hire, all new employees will receive orientation to:
- The organization’s mission, philosophy, goals, and services.
- The organization’s role within the community.
- The organization’s personnel manual.
- The lines of accountability and authority within the organization.
- The cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of the population their program serves.
- Applicable COA standards
All staff who regularly have direct contact with clients will receive training on legal issues, including:
- Mandatory reporting and the identification of clinical indicators of suspected abuse and neglect.
- Reportable criminal behavior, including criminal, acquaintance, and statutory rape.
- Issues and responsibilities related to the “duty-to-warn”.
- The organization’s policies and procedures on confidentiality and disclosure of service recipient information, and the penalties for violations of these policies and procedures.
- The legal rights of service recipients.
All staff who handle client case records will receive training on proper documentation techniques and the maintenance and security of case records.
All staff who regularly have direct contact with clients will receive training on the following topics, as needed, to be determined by the employee and supervisor:
Establishing rapport and responsive behaviors with service recipients.
Identifying the needs of individuals and families in crisis, including special service needs of victims of violence, abuse, and/or neglect, and the needs of their family members.
Identifying the basic health and medical needs of the service population.
Procedures for working with foreign language speakers and persons with communication impairments.
Public assistance and government subsidies.
How to advocate on behalf of clients and their families and how to empower service recipients and their families to advocate on their own behalf.
Understanding differences within the organization’s service populations, including:
Interventions that address cultural and socioeconomic factors in service delivery;
the role which cultural identity plays in motivating human behavior; bias and discrimination; and the need for normalizing experiences and social inclusion.