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Benefits Outreach Advocate

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Benefits Outreach Advocate

Homeless Action Center (HAC) is a community-based legal services program founded in 1990 to provide legal services to homeless people in Alameda County. Over time, HAC’s specialty became public benefits advocacy, with a focus on Social Security disability benefits. The process of qualifying for disability benefits can be lengthy and difficult. Employing a client-centered focus and harm reduction principles, Staff Attorneys and Advocates work closely with other legal services programs and social services programs to assist clients in meeting their emergency and longer-term needs during this process. HAC represents over 2,000 clients at a time. Please refer to www.homelessactioncenter.org.


ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:


The duties and responsibilities for the Benefits Outreach Advocate position is a combination of homeless outreach, benefits advocacy, and community outreach and training, including but not limited to:

·       Assisting people experiencing homelessness with accessing public benefits, including general assistance, food stamps, and Medi-Cal health insurance;

·       Assisting clients in obtaining and submitting documentation required for public benefits, including identity documents from government agencies;

·       Accompanying individuals or households to appointments related to accessing public benefits or needed documentation and providing transportation support as needed;

·       Coordinating with shelters and other homeless service provers to set up monthly public benefits clinics at their site locations; 

·       Training shelter staff and other homeless service providers on the process for accessing and staying on public benefits; 

·       Performing outreach to locate people experiencing homelessness who need benefits advocacy, which will require entering homeless encampments;

·       Ensuring quality data collection and accurate documentation of multiple reports;

·       Participating in related program, agency, and community meetings as assigned;

·       Communicating and working well with all levels of representatives, internally within Homeless Action Center and externally with partner organizations;

·       Assessing the overall needs of a client to make appropriate referrals for other support related to unstable housing/homelessness, substance abuse, physical and mental health issues, and other legal concerns. 


QUALIFICATIONS:


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

·       A clear understanding of, and the ability to demonstrate, professional ethics, boundaries, and judgment;

·       Integrity to handle sensitive information in a confidential manner and to follow the confidentiality practices of a law office;

·       Initiative, flexibility, and the capacity to respond effectively in all situations with strong organizational skills;

·       Substantial demonstrated knowledge/experience navigating the public benefits process through the Alameda County Social Services Agency;

·       Substantial demonstrated knowledge/experience working with people in crises or unstable housing situations;

·       Education in trauma, domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues;

·       Must have Class C California Driver’s License with a clean driving record;

·       Knowledgeable of available resources in the East Bay;

·       The necessary attitudes, knowledge, and skills to demonstrate cultural humility, deliver culturally competent services and work effectively in cross-cultural situations;

·       Understanding of and enthusiasm for employing harm reduction principles in dealing with issues arising from substance use, mental illness, and homelessness.


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


·       Frequentbending, standing, stooping, kneeling, reaching, twisting, and walking.

·       Intermittent lifting, pushing, and pulling. Frequent repetitive motions: Making substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers. Light work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.

·       The worker is required to have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; and extensive reading.

·       Driving is required for this position: must have a valid California driver's license and be able to provide proof of DMV record and personal insurance.



WORK ENVIRONMENT:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


·       Contact with clients who may have behavioral and psychiatric problems including shouting, use of profanity and inappropriate behavioral choices.

·       Supervision: assigned duties according to specified procedures and receives detailed instructions. Work is reviewed frequently. The employee performs a variety of routine work within established policies and procedures, and receives instructions on assignments, new policies, or projects.

·       Our offices have open spaces, and thus can be loud and chaotic. While we are a working law office, the layout, as well as the nature of our work, can mean that it is louder than a “typical” office space. 

·       We have animals – cats and dogs – in our offices.

·       This position requires interacting with people living in homeless encampments. Encampments may be especially chaotic, and may have debris, drug paraphernalia, rodents, and other possible hazards.

·       May include contact with clients with mental health issues who demonstrate behaviors such as use of profanity, shouting, running away, self-harm and violence.

·       Occasional need to interact with clients that may be expressing anger both appropriately and inappropriately.

·       The worker is occasionally exposed to perfume or scents in personal care products used by employees, clients, and visitors.

·       The worker is occasionally exposed to cleaning products.

·       Because the position involves outreach, the employee will be exposed to weather conditions as they arise.

·       The work environment includes traveling using various modes of transportation.

·       The work environment may include driving an agency vehicle.



SALARY & BENEFITS: 

The salary range for this position is $60,000 to $70,000 depending on experience. Employer paid health, vision, dental, basic term life, AD&D, long-term disability insurance and employee assistance program. Subsidy for Commuter Check program. 403(b) retirement account available without employer contribution. Generous vacation, holiday and sick time. 


TO APPLY

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and list of three references IN ONE PDF DOCUMENT to recruitment@homelessactioncenter.org by September 30, 2021. 



DISCLAIMER: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. Nothing in this job description restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.


HAC is committed to providing equal employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, legal domicile status, veteran status, disability or AIDS/HIV status or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law.

Benefits Outreach Advocate

Homeless Action Center (HAC) is a community-based legal services program founded in 1990 to provide legal services to homeless people in Alameda County. Over time, HAC’s specialty became public benefits…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Application Deadline
    September 30, 2021

Salary

USD 60,000 - USD 70,000

Benefits

The salary range for this position is $60,000 to $70,000 depending on experience. Employer paid health, vision, dental, basic term life, AD&D, long-term disability insurance and employee assistance program. Subsidy for Commuter Check program. 403(b) retirement account available without employer contribution. Generous vacation, holiday and sick time. 

The salary range for this position is $60,000 to $70,000 depending on experience. Employer paid health, vision, dental, basic term life, AD&D, long-term disability insurance and…

Location

On-site
Berkeley, CA, USA

How to Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and list of three references IN ONE PDF DOCUMENT to recruitment@homelessactioncenter.org by September 30, 2021.  

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and list of three references IN ONE PDF DOCUMENT to recruitment@homelessactioncenter.org by September 30, 2021.  

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