Is social justice important to you? Consider joining our innovative team by becoming a Housing Outreach Specialist at Thresholds! Working at Thresholds means making a difference in someone’s life every day. For decades, Thresholds has provided direct mental health and substance use treatments in Chicago’s communities.
Take advantage of our excellent orientation and training programs to learn the latest in evidence based practices, ethics, and time management. At Thresholds, one of Chicago’s award winning best workplaces, we offer competitive compensation and benefits package, participation in the public service loan forgiveness program, opportunities for growth and continuing education, and clinical supervision for LCPC/LCSW licensure.
The Housing Outreach Specialist reports to the Director, Homeless Contracts Compliance. The Specialist builds housing- specific outreach and system navigation into the housing department structure, closing gaps in the citywide Coordinated Entry System (CES) to reduce agency time from referral to housed. This role directly assists homeless individuals with complex needs to reduce barriers into housing entry and retention while providing a seamless transition to long-term support services.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Locate and transport participants to housing department for intake interview.
- Assist in gathering needed homeless, income, and disability documentation for participants.
- Ensure that participant utilizes subsidy within 30-day time frame by engaging in housing location and apartment viewings.
- Assist member in apartment search and application process; facilitate in-person interactions with property management.
- Notify Housing Specialist when an applicant has been approved by a landlord and an inspection request is needed. Cross train and serve as Housing Inspector to complete HUD inspections.
- Maintain contact with participants until move-in; facilitate move in process (transport member to move-in, receive keys, and sign lease).
- Complete needs assessments and verifications of disability, if applicable. Work closely with Service Coordinator to ensure participants are linked to internal or external supportive services.
- Complete all required documentation in a timely fashion. This may include registration and service notes in the agency’s electronic medical record, HMIS registration, and any documentation required by the housing department.
- Participate in Coordinated Entry meetings as needed.
- Maintain accurate records of intake process.
- Build and maintain positive relationships with other member partners such Corporation for Supportive Housing and System Navigators.
- Proactively identify and implement best practices in getting referrals matched to appropriate housing, and housed as quickly as possible.
- Other duties as assigned.
MARGINAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Assure all appropriate safeguards are in place with regard to confidential files maintained within the Housing Administration and Access & Implementation Department. All records are to be maintained in such a fashion as to prevent unauthorized access as well as to reasonably protect them from fire, water damage, or other hazards. Electronic records will be backed-up in accordance with agency guidelines.
- Collaborate closely with Thresholds Housing Administration team. Provide light case management and supportive services until member is linked to long-term services.
- Provide accurate and timely information to supervisor(s) on all topics and issues related to the project operations and well-being.
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is required.
- Qualified Mental Health Professional including a Master’s degree in social work, counseling, psychology or closely related field is strongly preferred.
- LCSW/LCPC preferred.
- Two (2) to four (4) years of applicable work experience in outreach or providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Case management knowledge and experience in a healthcare or mental health setting.
- Demonstrated knowledge of community service providers.
- Experience with Motivational Interviewing.
- Demonstrated proficiency in the use of e-mail, data reporting, recordkeeping, and MS Office applications.
- Ability to effectively manage multiple departmental operations in a dynamic environment.
- Current and valid driver’s license.
- Experience at working both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
- Familiarity with policies and procedures of funding agencies such as but not limited to HUD, DFSS, Illinois Division of Mental Health and other project funding sources.
- Regular access to a personal vehicle is strongly preferred. Must obtain and maintain $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 bodily injury and liability insurance. Subject to validation every six months.
- May be required to provide transportation for members of the program using a Thresholds provided vehicle or personal vehicle. Must be 23 years of age and must meet all insurance carrier’s requirements. Subject to annual Department of Motor Vehicles license verified.
- Covid-19 Note
- In the spirit of caring for one another and our community, please note that upon accepting an offer of employment from Thresholds, you will be required to share proof of a Covid-19 vaccination. The requirement is subject to accommodation in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Keywords: Continuum of Care, Shelter Plus Care, Homeless, Compliance Officer, HUD, Affordable Housing, Supportive Housing