Utilize your prior experience in human service support and delivery to provide professional, timely and effective advocacy services to women experiencing poverty and homelessness. WLP advocates are responsive to a diverse and challenging guest community by being flexible to guests’ needs, identifying how best to achieve short and long-term goals, recommending, and offering guests the tools and support to solve their problems, effectively planning the closing of cases and supporting women through this transition, and providing appropriate follow-up assistance. Advocacy staff actively work with staff and volunteers to engage guests and coordinate services according to our integrated model of care, helping vulnerable women gain access to housing, mental health services, substance use disorder treatment, and other critical services.
Reports to: Advocacy Manager
Exempt Status: Exempt Position Status: Full Time
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Schedule is 5 days a week, either 7am-3pm or 8am-4pm.
Current COVID Operations:
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Women’s Lunch Place has moved many of our guest services to outside our building. This position will sometimes be required to be in all weather conditions meeting the needs of our guests. Advocates do have one on one indoor meetings with clients but with proper COVID guidelines in place. To keep our staff and guests safe, all staff wear masks and practice social distancing throughout all shifts. We also have face shields and goggles available as well as protective plexiglass installed throughout the shelter.
- Establish and cultivate supportive and trusting relationships with guests.
- Respond effectively and appropriately to the needs of guests in the shelter and during individual meetings.
- Provide advocacy and care coordination services: listen to and assess guests’ needs and strengths, record relevant data and information in File Maker.
- Work with guest on an action plan and schedule follow-up appointments until guest’s needs are met or she stops attending meetings.
- Provide responsive assistance to solve immediate concerns and needs.
- Assist with guest needs for housing, public benefits, trauma intervention, financial questions, and make referrals for professional help with physical & mental health, addiction and any other personal requests.
- Provide all responses and interventions in a therapeutic manner, integrating client-centered and trauma-informed techniques and other modalities as necessary (i.e. harm reduction, cognitive behavioral, motivational interviewing).
- Evaluate interventions on on-going basis.
- Prepare for crises and respond as needed.
- Develop and maintain relationships with other critical service providers and changes in their programs.
- Accompany guests when appropriate, to meetings and appointments for housing, court, and medical.
- Attend offsite meetings and workshops as assigned by supervisor.
- Meet with Advocacy Manager for weekly supervision.
- Perform other responsibilities as assigned by Advocacy Manager.
- Work schedule includes weekly drop-in advocacy hours, scheduled appointments with guests, and office hours. Also includes training, workshops and WLP commitments.
- Act as a liaison with shelter direct care & resource center staff and volunteers as needed.
- Support guests’ needs in accordance with policies and procedures manual, and as directed by Advocacy Manager, Director of Programs or Executive Director.
- Attend meetings relevant to the position.
- Maintain staff, volunteer, donor and guest confidentiality.
- Participate in WLP community holiday celebrations and events, whenever possible.
- Create a safe and welcoming environment for staff, volunteers and guests.
- Accurate and timely reporting of all significant guest information including File Maker, incident reporting and all data gathering requirements.
- Accurate and timely reporting of financial data including petty cash, check requests, gift card requests, and credit card purchases.
- Computer literacy. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite preferred.
- Perform other tasks as assigned by the Advocacy Manager.
- Bachelor's in Social Work, Psychology or related degree
- In lieu, of Bachelor's degree, High school diploma required AND 3-5 years experience with vulnerable individuals struggling with homelessness, poverty, addiction, mental illness, trauma and abuse.
- Ability to learn and work quickly and take initiative.
- Ability to set limits in a firm and respectful manner.
- Ability to respond to and prioritize multiple requests for assistance and remain organized.
- Understanding of and competency in engaging and working with women experiencing poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction, survivors of trauma, abuse or other challenges.
- Clear and professional writing skills.
- Positive, respectful, non-judgmental attitude.
- Computer literacy.
- Experience in mental health and/or housing advocacy most helpful.
- Experience and or understanding of trauma-informed care.
- Knowledge of emergency services available in Boston area most helpful.
- Knowledge of resources available for poor and low-income women.
- Familiarity with MA legal system, addiction and substance abuse behaviors and treatment resources.
- Commitment to a team approach working with staff, volunteers and guests.
- Bilingual in Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Haitian Creole or Portuguese a plus.
- Access to automobile for work related travel.
Women’s Lunch Place offers a rewarding work environment with competitive salary, generous benefits and a strong commitment to diversity in its workforce and programs. Women’s Lunch Place does not discriminate based on race, color, gender or gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.