Womankind (formerly the New York Asian Women’s Center) helps survivors of gender based violence. This can include domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence as well as victimizations that sit within the intersections of these. We work across the lifespan acknowledging that violence can enter and re-enter a person’s live at any age regardless of background. Our goal is to provide support, guidance and work with survivors so that they can live their lives free of abuse and find ways to rise above violence. We believe this is achieved when survivors can gain harmony in their lives and a sense of belonging to a community. Through these gains, survivors can engage in a healing journey that is holistic and supportive of the individual needs of the survivor and their family. Our services are spread out in 3 community offices as well as 2 confidential emergency residences.
As a part of the Womankind team, the Housing Specialist will work with both our residential as well as community-based programs to improve housing outcomes for our client base. The Specialist will work with advocates as well as Associate Directors to create housing strategies that optimize the wellbeing of survivors we work with. This is inclusive of working with the current housing programs that are available to domestic and sexual violence survivors within New York City.
This is a hands-on role that involved both micro-level work as well as macro-level work. It will be the responsibility of the Specialist to conduct assessment of ongoing needs of the current client based and work with counseling staff to develop strategies to support the obtaining and maintaining of safe and independent living environments. The Specialist will additionally play an advocacy role in voicing the needs of survivors to local coalitions and taskforces that are developing policies and best practices when working with domestic and sexual violence survivors. The specialist will work with the Pathways to Empowerment team, which is inclusive of staff with technical skills in workforce readiness as well as benefits and entitlements expertise, to support a holistic and comprehensive understanding of empowerment and self-sufficiency.
The housing specialist along with the Pathways to Empowerment colleagues will build out a program that is comprehensive within the agency looking at self-sufficiency in a more trauma-informed and survivor-centered lens.
Primary Responsibilities: Residential and Non- Residential Programs:
- Work collaboratively with staff and clients to provide quality and comprehensive services regarding housing needs and/or available housing programs
- Provide individual sessions to clients and/or their respective Advocates to assess housing needs, challenges, and barriers
- Conduct outreach to landlords, brokers, and real estate parties to build relationships as well as expand resources
- Accompany clients to apartment viewings and support their comprehension of safe and unsafe living standards
- Develop and maintain external partnerships with professionals in relation to housing (including real estate professionals and HRA housing specialists)
- Design and provide necessary training to staff on overall housing programs
- Conduct support groups, as necessary, to housing voucher recipients while highlighting trends as well as common and individual barriers
- Share the staff coverage while in residential site as well as answer helpline calls
- Represent agency in housing-related committee and coalition meeting to receive updates and trends in housing, advocate challenges and explore resources
- Additional tasks as assigned by the ED
Qualifications and requirements:
- 9am-5pm Monday to Friday with flexibility to work later hours and weekends
- Bachelor’s Degree preferred and/or two years’ equivalent experience in related field
- Bilingual in an Asian language preferred
- Knowledge of different housing opportunities available for survivors of GBV
- Knowledge of NYC tenants and renter’s rights or willingness to learn.
- The ideal candidate is able to understand the complex elements of NYC’s housing programs
- Some counseling experience (individual and group) in areas of trauma a plus
- Willingness and motivation to work with clients and advocates to support understanding and navigation of the housing process
- Willingness to travel to both residential and community program sites
- Demonstrated interest in GBV or other humanitarian work a big plus
- Great communication skills (written and verbal)
- Comfort and familiarity with computers, e-mail, and word processing
- Team-player personality required
Level of Language Proficiency
- Bilingual in an Asian language strongly preferred
Minimum Education Required