Prevention Advocate

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $31,000



Application Deadline



1247 4th Ave SE
Cedar Rapids
United States


Position Summary: 

The Homeless Prevention Advocate is responsible for finding and assisting households (individuals and/or families) who are facing the loss of their housing or are unstably housed. The Advocate will work with households for a range of time; some will involve a one-time phone call and others will require a series of meetings and/or assistance. The Advocate will need to perform outreach on an ongoing basis across the County, working with a wide range of service providers (including financial and other resources) in order to keep households housed. Initiative, follow-through, relationship building, and knowledge of resources are essential to the Advocate’s success. Travel and client transport are a core part of the position (travel will be reimbursed by Willis Dady and the Advocate must supply their own vehicle). The position is full time (40 hours per week) with health benefits and paid time off, with a salary starting at $31,200.  The schedule is typically business hours but requires flexibility.


Key Responsibilities

1.   Outreach

a.   Find households who are 2-4 weeks from becoming homeless or who are living in unsafe doubled-up situations: this is our population for prevention services.

b.   Network and visit with community agencies that serve as a safety net for low-income households. Maintain regular hours at agencies where you can interact with these households. Possible sites for office hours include the Cities of Marion and Hiawatha, rural towns with resource centers, libraries, and schools.

c.   Initiate relationships with households who need your assistance. Focus on households who do not have other resources available to them, don’t know how to find other resources, and/or have been homeless in the past.

d.   Travel throughout the county to meet with providers who are unaware of prevention services. Spend at least 10 hours per week outside the Cedar Rapids city limits.

2.   Advocacy

a.   Assist ~ 20 new households each month. Maintain a balanced case load of those who need one-time or short-term assistance versus those who need longer term assistance. Target caseload is 95 households, some of which will be new and some which will need only a check-in phone call. Once the caseload is built, households must be exited at the same rate of new intakes.

b.   Build positive relationships with clients to help them feel welcomed and to better enable them to find the resources they need.

c.   Provide your services through a “Housing First” approach; focus on helping clients find and maintain housing no matter their other barriers.

d.   Assist clients with meeting basic needs by helping them obtain emergency food, clothing, transportation, and shelter services. This may entail transporting clients.

e.   Continuously improve your networks with landlords and advocate for your clients with landlords and property managers to assist them in obtaining desirable housing.

f.    Stay informed about area service providers, application processes, and eligibility requirements. Provide warm hand-offs to other agencies so clients have a direct contact when they are referred. Advocate for your clients by talking directly with other service providers.

3.   Administrative

a.   Become ServicePoint trained within three months of employment. Accurately enter all households served into ServicePoint and correct any errors in a timely fashion.

b.   Utilize in-house database to collect additional information useful to outcomes and progress notes. Use internal and ServicePoint information to inform monthly reporting.

c.   Assist with grant reporting and other data collection related to your services. Keep records of “Success Stories” that can be shared with funders and the broader public.

d.   Perform other agency administrative duties to standard (such as travel reimbursement requests, timesheets, client record keeping, etc.).

e.   Supervise and support prevention volunteers/interns by providing direct oversight, work plans, and accountability. This includes recruiting, training, and scheduling volunteers as needed.

4.   Crisis Management

a.   Use sound judgment and initiative to respond to various crisis as soon as they arise.

b.   Prioritize and manage your time to respond to the most pressing needs first.

c.   When safety issues arise, contact proper authorities to ensure individuals are safe (e.g. hospital for detox, mobile crisis for suicide prevention, police for crisis intervention).

5.   Teamwork

a.   Work closely with all Willis Dady case management and shelter staff to share resources and ideas to most effectively serve clients. Attend and participate in agency meetings, including the mandatory monthly staff meeting.

b.   Remain flexible. As a grant funded position the goals may change over time. Be active in helping design and modify the position as needed. Help identify ways to align the position with the most urgent prevention initiatives to make the greatest impact.

c.   Step in to assist with services at the Willis Dady shelter if needed (i.e. in a short-term emergency or staffing shortage).

6.   Other

a.   Maintain ethical client relationships and confidentiality in accordance with policies.

b.     Complete required trainings and adhere to guidelines, policies, and procedures.


The Homeless Prevention Advocate must be self-driven and motivated to work with a wide range of households who are facing homelessness or who are unstably housed. Qualified candidates must have:

·        Education/Experience: Four-year degree with a minimum of 2 years of experience working with people in crisis or vulnerable populations. Alternatively, 6 years of experience in lieu of a bachelor’s degree combined with strong writing skills. Experience working with people experiencing homelessness or past personal experience of homelessness is highly preferred.

·        Initiative. The Advocate must create and maintain relationships with other agencies. They must be able to set up meetings and follow through with communication between providers.

·        Ability to travel throughout Linn County, a valid driver’s license, and access to a reliable vehicle. All work related travel expenses will be reimbursed by Willis Dady.

·        Ability to work well independently and with a team. Must be able to make independent decisions about schedule, travel, client priorities, etc. on a day-to-day basis. Must also be able to brainstorm and share information with Willis Dady case managers and shelter staff.

·        Ability to work with a wide range of people from clients to property managers to other service providers. The Advocate must demonstrate openness and respect for all clients regardless of personal differences. They must be willing to meet with clients in various locations (including outside) and with clients who have a range of abilities and needs.

·        Clear verbal and written communication.

·        Ability to properly complete all required paperwork and ServicePoint functions. The Advocate will have three months to train and pass the ServicePoint exam.

·        Complete training (or have prior experience) in working with people who have a mental illness, suicide prevention, and drug and alcohol interventions.


The position is full time (40 hours per week) with health benefits and paid time off.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references to Ashley Glassberg at or via mail at 1247 4th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids IA 52403. Interested applicants may also call for more information at: 319-362-7555. Applications are now being accepted and are due no later than June 18. The anticipated start date is after July 1.


Note: It is the policy of Willis Dady Emergency Shelter to provide employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, Vietnam era or disabled veteran status. All offers of employment are contingent on a negative report on the State of Iowa Criminal History Records Check and Sex Offender Registry. Willis Dady is an At Will Employer.