Position: Housing & Benefits Advocate
Department: Morivivi Residential Program
Location (s): Bronx
Reports To: Property/Program Manager
Classification: Full Time – Non-Exempt
The Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (VIP) partners with Latinx communities to end gender-based violence. Created as a grassroots response to intimate partner violence and sexual assault, VIP has always centered survivors in its leadership and has worked to create a community of staff that reflects the rich national, ethnic and racial diversity of the communities it serves. VIP runs four non-residential social service programs and two residential shelter and housing programs, in addition to a robust communications and outreach department.
Moriviví Residential Program is a 51 bed scattered site safe dwelling. The goal of this program is to provide short-term shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children. Supportive services offered at Morivivi include individual counseling, support groups, case management, children’s services, housing advocacy, and referrals for educational/vocational facilities and job preparation . Morivivi promotes healing, empowerment and self-sufficiency while providing a safe and supportive environment free from violence.
The Housing & Benefits Advocate is responsible for assessing and prioritizing resident needs related to public benefits and housing options. The Coordinator will support clients by assessing eligibility for benefits, submitting application, advocating for optimal results and faster responses, and explore all potential longer-term housing options. The Coordinator will also conduct educational workshops for groups, coordinate activities and provide information regarding all new or revised benefits and housing options. The Coordinator will identify systemic and individual service gaps and advocate on behalf of shelter residents to address those issues. The ideal candidate brings extensive knowledge of and experience with systems navigation, and strong skills to build positive relationships with other service providers, community based organizations, and government entities. The candidate must have a collaborative approach to working with survivors and colleagues. The Coordinator reports to the Program Manager at Morivivi and works closely with a 6-person team of shelter advocates and facilities staff.
Ø Conduct initial and ongoing assessments with shelter residents to identify economic goals and determine eligibility for benefits and housing assistance;
Ø Support residents to achieve their goals by connecting to educational and vocational opportunities;
Ø Assist residents to complete housing applications (NYCHA; CITYFHEPS, private housing, etc.);
Ø Advocate for full access to benefits and housing assistance, including advocacy by phone, accompaniment to appointments, and via written correspondence;
Ø Coordinate and facilitate educational workshops for residents regarding systems navigation and self-advocacy;
Ø Maintain proper documentation (record keeping, reports and statistical information) in a timely manner for all clients;
Ø Provide complete and accurate information about resident outcomes and services;
Ø Work collaboratively with colleagues, supervisors and other service providers to ensure high quality, coordinated support;
Ø Adhere to mandated reporting requirements as they relate to such issues on child abuse/neglect; responsibly adhere to VIP protocols regarding risk of suicide/homicide;
Ø Participate in various programmatic meetings: case conferences, all-staff meetings, team meetings, etc.;
Ø Participate in community outreach and /or educational workshops, as needed by program;
Ø Provide coverage as needed, this includes, but is not limited to, on-call evening, overnight and weekend coverage;
Ø Perform other tasks and administrative duties as directed by management.
Level of Language Proficiency
Ø Bachelor’s in relevant field, or comparable experience;
Ø Fully Bilingual, both verbal and written, in English and Spanish;
Ø A minimum of (4) years crisis intervention, public systems navigation, advocacy and counseling experience in the area of domestic violence, sexual assault, or related field;
Ø Strong verbal, written, communication and documenting skills;
Ø Strong skills in systems navigation and knowledge on public assistance and housing.
Ø Must promote VIP values and comply with all VIP policies;
Ø Must be available for “on-call” evening and weekend hours, in the event of a residential emergency;
Ø Must be well organized and be able to work independently and collectively,
Ø Must be knowledgeable in working with diverse communities, particularly Latinx, people of color, and low income populations, and must deliver services with cultural humility;
Ø Must be able to exercise good judgment and sensitivity at all times;
Ø Must maintain agency, program and client confidentiality at all times;
Ø Must work well with a team and bring self-awareness and accountability to the workplace;
Ø Sense of humor a huge plus.
All staff is expected to commit to the mission, vision and values of the Violence Intervention Program, Inc., which includes constant improvement to programs, and a willingness to work within a culturally diverse environment.
The Housing & Benefit Coordinator is expected to work 35 hours per week, with an additional commitment that includes being on rotation for on-call coverage during the evenings and weekend shifts, if needed.
This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.
Minimum Education Required