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Safe Haven Clinical Community Advocate

Posted by
On The Rise, Inc. | Cambridge, MA

On The Rise, Inc.

Published 4 days ago

February 14, 2020
$51,000 - $56,000Commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Overview of On The Rise, Inc.

On The Rise, Inc. (OTR) is a dynamic, Cambridge, MA-based non-profit founded in 1995 that serves women and non-binary people currently/formerly experiencing homelessness throughout the region. Our Safe Haven and Keep The Keys Programs’ innovative approach has unprecedented success leveraging our participants’ initiative and core strengths to find safety and discover new possibilities. OTR is committed to social justice, dismantling oppression, and striving to be an anti-racist organization.

The people we serve face multiple intersecting challenges which may overwhelm their ability to navigate services, build social connections, or have control and choice in their life. They display enormous strength and ingenuity in coping with challenges such as homelessness, domestic violence, mental illness, the after-effects of childhood abuse, systemic oppression, and intergenerational trauma. Their coping strategies may also create barriers such as substance use leading to behavioral outbursts, severed relationships, and involvement in the legal system. At OTR, we build relationships with people who are using a wide array of strategies to deal with those challenges. This means we encounter amazing feats of growth alongside at times unstable behavior.  

Hours, Activities, and Responsibilities

OTR’s normal business hours are 8-4 on weekdays. The Safe Haven is also open most Saturdays and most holidays. In order to ensure adequate staffing during all the Safe Haven’s scheduled operations, each Advocate on the seven person team will work at least one Saturday per month and occasional holidays. 

Clinical insight and nuance are invaluable in this work - and, this is not a conventional therapeutic/clinical position. The position is a blend of direct service and advocacy, with responsibilities similar to those of other Advocates on a diverse team that includes and values all kinds of experience:  academic, professional, lived, etc. As part of this team, the Clinical Community Advocate uses clinical expertise as a particular asset and skill-set in building authentic relationships and helping program participants pursue goals that are important to them. The Clinical Community Advocate will get hands on experience working with people who struggle with profound mental health issues and addiction in a setting that allows the opportunity to know them as whole people, and to influence the systems they are navigating.  

Direct service: Each Advocate spends half their day staffing the Safe Haven, a daytime program where the people we serve may address some basic human needs like food, clothing, rest, and hygiene. During this time two to three Advocates manage the day-to-day operations of the Safe Haven, such as distributing the goods we have in-house, making sure everyone has a chance to access the resources they need while they’re here, and maintaining safety. Frequent movement between floors and carrying up to 25 pounds is required. 

This time in the Safe Haven is also essential for the Advocates to do our core work of relationship building. Creating opportunities for authentic, growth-fostering, boundaried relationships is the most important responsibility of the Advocates. These relationships are the basis for long-term, broad-based support, and the Safe Haven is where those relationships begin.

Advocacy: The other half of the day is reserved for advocacy and meetings. This participant led support may relate to a wide range of issues including:

  • Case management work in a non-clinical setting (for example, helping someone fill out housing applications, calling around for a detox bed, or making referrals for outside services)
  • Accompaniment to a wide variety of outside appointments or meetings (doctors, court, housing, lawyers, family, etc)
  • Providing crisis intervention using a harm reduction approach, including assessment of danger and risk and a discussion about the tradeoffs inherent in any change
  • Street outreach
  • Visiting participants (at home, hospital, jail, etc)
  • Exploring outside-the-box possibilities with guidance from the participant (for example, helping someone connect to local businesses where they might show their art, or working on protest signs for a rally)

Who we are looking for: 

The following qualities are essential for a strong Advocate.

Mission and Values:

  • Commits to OTR’s mission and values of inclusion, safety, self determination, diversity, relationships, wholeness, and community.
  • Dedication to OTR’s tenets of harm reduction, trauma inclusion, relational-cultural theory, strength-based de-centered practice, a wellbeing approach, and anti-oppression frameworks.
  • Participates in employer-sponsored activities acknowledging, confronting, and dismantling racism and other issues of oppression and examining the impact of racism on themselves, on OTR, and in the community at large.

Teamwork and Collaboration:

  • Reframes individual case management to a collective Advocacy team effort that leverages diverse skills and perspectives within the team.
  • Actively supports, challenges, and communicates with teammates and receives support and challenge with openness, curiosity, and humor.
  • Works within the continuum of service providers to enhance the success and effectiveness of referrals between OTR and other programs.

Relationships and Boundaries:

  • Builds authentic relationships with program participants, fellow staff members, and outside collaborators.
  • Maintains appropriate boundaries by continuously examining the motivations and impacts of decisions.

Initiative and Agency:

  • Exercises independent judgment, creativity in problem solving, and initiative in providing advocacy.
  • Like all OTR employees, exhibits the flexibility required in a small organization, openness to change, and seeks out resources for personal and professional growth.

Skills and Expertise:

  • Licensure and a graduate degree in psychology, social work, or related field are required
  • At least three years of direct experience working with those experiencing mental health challenges, domestic violence, trauma, or substance use is required. History of homelessness or other significant life challenges may also qualify as prior experience.  
  • Valid Driver’s License required. 
  • Computer literacy and working knowledge of or willingness to learn Google Apps Suite. 

Overview of On The Rise, Inc.

On The Rise, Inc. (OTR) is a dynamic, Cambridge, MA-based non-profit founded in 1995 that serves women and non-binary people currently/formerly experiencing homelessness throughout the region. Our Safe Haven and…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule


Generous benefits package including 75% employer sponsored health coverage, retirement plan contribution, and paid leave.

Generous benefits package including 75% employer sponsored health coverage, retirement plan contribution, and paid leave.

How to Apply

Submit a cover letter and resume to

Submit a cover letter and resume to


341 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

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