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Report To:                         Jobs Department Manager

Classification:                   Non-Exempt, hourly

Position Time:                  Part time, up to 16hrs per week

Job Summary

NWFS’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) Youth Peer Support Specialist (YPSS) meets Clackamas community youth and young adults (YYA) (14 to 24 y.o.) where they are at, to provide System Diversion, Homelessness Prevention, and Support Services for homeless youth and young adults at imminent or high risk of homelessness.

The YHDP YPSS is responsible for providing additional support to YYA 14 to 24 y.o. to achieve community inclusion and participation, independence, recovery and resiliency. Works collaboratively with the YHDP Case Manager to provide financial assistance for a variety of needs and resource navigation to find a permanent housing solution; provide a period of peer support and relationship building geared toward helping the YYA transition to stability. The YPSS is an individual in recovery (stable for more than 2 years) with a self-identified lived experience and journey in receiving services and supports for either mental health, substance use disorder, juvenal justice, foster care and/or from housing/homeless service providers. The Youth Peer Support Specialist helps YYA build and/or regain control over their lives and over their own recovery process, as they define it.

The YHDP YPSS will work in collaboration with the YHDP Case Manager while helping clients identify their goals (including housing, employment, education, transportation, finances, etc.), develop an action plan and connect with all available resources to reach their goals, and generally be a supportive connector through the transition from youth to adult systems. This position in collaboration with the case manager provides extensive coaching and encouragement for clients, as well as the knowledge and tools to help them move forward toward long-term stability.

The YHDP YPSS will be expected to work in the community; the position requires familiarity with the geography of the Clackamas area, working with unaccompanied YYA on building and nurturing a mutual relationship that is established on trust. This position promotes the strengths and capabilities of YYA individuals as they work to obtain and retain permanent housing, build strength and stability. It requires consistent contact with the participants served, data entry into Coordinated Housing Access (CHA) and Service Point HMIS, and regular communication with other housing service providers, the Clackamas County YHDP Team and the Clackamas Youth Action Board (YAB). This position requires good follow through, attention to detail, writing skills, and excellent communication through one-on-one and virtual meetings, phone, e-mail, and team communication with case managers and supervisor.

Job Responsibilities

  • Serve YYA with disabilities, LGBTQ+ youth, youth of color, minors, pregnant & parenting youth, justice involved youth, youth experiencing mental health and substance use issues, foster care involved youth and survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
  • Provide assertive outreach and engagement to YYA, building rapport with NWFS and service providers.
  • Assess client eligibility based on YHDP guidelines.
  • Obtain all eligibility and ongoing service documentation according to the procedures stablished and adhering to HIPAA compliance.
  • Receive referrals via email, phone call, or in HMIS, sent by the Coordinated Housing Access team.
  • Conduct strength-based assessment, using the Coordinated Housing Access Survey (CHA).
  • Perform the CHA survey with individuals referred by other NWFS staff, or youth and young adults who approach the agency asking for housing resources.
  • Use a flexible approach in problem solving and diverting unaccompanied youth from entering the homeless services system whenever possible.
  • Provide extra support and assistance to YYA with accessing and navigating community resources.
  • Assist and support YYA in maintaining cooperative and effective relationships with their YHDP Case Manager and other partner agencies, as well as their chosen families (or other natural supports).
  • Facilitate conversations regarding short-term financial assistance for certain support services that contribute to the YYA stability.
  • Connect youth with services and other assistance to help them find stable housing.
  • Use experience with personal recovery in assisting and supporting the YHDP team and YYA.
  • Enhance team decision making by assuring YYA voice and choice is included in program planning.
  • Assure YYA is included in every step of the peer support process by delivering Person-Centered services.
  • Promote recovery through role modeling and sharing experiences in a trauma informed manner (sharing personal journey only for the client’s benefit), providing hope and encouragement and connection to community.
  • Work with participants to ensure they are accessing all benefits they are entitled to.
  • Assist YYA in the development of life skills such as resolving interpersonal conflicts in their environment and family/chosen family, maintaining and/or securing their own housing, developing work skills, safety skills, social skills, receiving and maintaining public benefits.
  • Support the YHDP Case Manager by collecting data needed for HMIS; enters data timely (within 5 days) and accurately in the system.
  • Adhere to housing first and harm reduction model of peer advocacy.
  • Works closely with supervisor, other YPSSs, YHDP Case Managers, Clackamas County and other partners such as DHS/WorkSource Center and housing agencies to plan, promote, and support the logistics of serving the target population.
  • Screen, assess and serve participants based on the guidelines outlined in Oregon Housing and Community Services State Homeless Funds Program Operation Manual, Emergency Housing Assistance Program.
  • Collaborate with Case manager to maintain accurate and up-to-date case files and comply with the organization’s documentation standard, adhering to HIPPA compliancy.
  • Provide culturally responsive services that are equitable, respectful, and relevant to people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Effectively communicate about NWFS, its mission, and programs to community partners and participants. Utilize NWFS communication plan.
  • Develop social media content and write success stories for NWFS supervisor and Clackamas County to use.
  • Comply with all NWFS policies and procedures. Must be committed to organizational mission and fiscal responsibility.
  • Attend staff meetings, trainings and other employee activities as required.
  • Accept the guidance of the Jobs Department Manager and Executive Director in the spirit of cooperation and establishing and maintaining an honest and professional working relationship.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications

  • Willing to help YYA with disabilities, LGBTQ+ youth, youth of color, minors, pregnant & parenting youth, justice involved youth, youth experiencing mental health and substance use issues, foster care involved youth and survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
  • Must be an individual in recovery: stable as defined by applicant with minimum 2 years in recovery from either addictions or mental health condition (even if never diagnosed, must be currently mentally stable)
    • Or Have a self-identified lived experience and journey in receiving services and supports from mental health, substance use disorder, juvenal justice and/or housing/homeless service providers.
  • Completion of Peer Support Specialist Training within 1 year of hire.
  • Must pass criminal background check and drug test prior starting work.
  • Proven ability to follow-through, detail oriented.
  • Accepts direction well and works well with others.
  • Willing to work non-standard and irregular hours.
  • Must have reliable transportation (and a valid driver’s license, if drives).

Preferred:

  • Bilingual
  • Experience or knowledge of local resources
  • Experience with Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)

 Core Competencies and Skills:

  • Has exceptional interpersonal communication skills.
  • Possess a high degree of emotional intelligence/resilience and empathy.
  • Ability to keep personal information about participants confidential.
  • Engages youth using a variety of communication styles and methods to flexibly meet their communication styles and needs.
  • Solves problems and negotiates misunderstandings/disagreements with participants in a rational, non-defensive manner.
  • Capacity to be trained in best practices including: Housing First, Warm Referrals, Rapid Re-Housing, Prevention, Diversion and Resource Navigation.
  • Capacity to be trained and always delivering Person Centered and Trauma Informed Services, with a focus on assertive engagement and Positive Youth Development.

Working Conditions

Must be available for flexible, non-standard work hours.  Work is often performed in an office environment, out in the community and involves driving to meet the target population and deliver services.  There is frequent use of computers and phones to communicate with current and potential clients and partners.

Wages: $16/hr

Benefits: Pro-rated sick, vacation, and holiday paid time off. Mileage reimbursement for work related trips. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers confidential counseling among other work life tools.

The position will remain open until enough qualified applicants have responded.

We Strive to Create a Diverse, Inclusive environment to Better Serve our Clients.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please fill out and mail or email the Employment Application (can be found at www.nwfs.org/job-app), along with a resume and responses to the questions below to:

ifontal@nwfs.org

Responses to each question should be between four sentences at least, and up to three pages total, single-spaced using size 12 font.

  • Please summarize your recovery journey and describe how you are currently in a stable situation mentally and emotionally. Are you an individual with a self-identified lived experience and journey in receiving services and supports from mental health, substance use disorder, and/or housing/homeless service providers?
  • If you have experience in delivering services for youth and young adults, please describe.
  • Explain your ability with computer systems and data entry, in any.
  • Please provide at least two references who can speak about your abilities, or who can describe your skills and values. Include name, occupation, phone number, and email address.

Iliana Fontal     10/19/2020