Our Mission is to house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness. We believe that everybody has the right to safe and affordable housing; we strive to strive to create a collaborative community with the individuals we serve, within Simpson, and with the greater community; and we advocate against the injustices of society that cause homelessness and poverty. On a daily basis, we celebrate and embrace the uniqueness and dignity of every person and encourage people to draw upon their strengths and promote the power of self-advocacy.
Simpson Housing Services began as an emergency overnight shelter in the basement of Simpson United Methodist Church in 1982. Simpson has since become a leading nonprofit providing assistance to people experiencing homelessness. In response to un-met community needs, our programs have grown to include emergency shelter, single adult supportive housing, and family supportive housing. We work across the metro area, partnering with landlords and developers to find affordable housing for all families and individuals. At any given time, we provide supportive services to 100 individuals and 200 families with over 400 children.
How Can You Contribute?
As a Bilingual Adult Shelter Advocate with Simpson Housing Services, you will provide assessment and placement into emergency shelter beds in single adult shelters in Hennepin County. This energetic and adaptable employee will work as part of a team to assist individuals access and understand the single adult shelter system. Advocates must be knowledgeable about and able to respond effectively to the complexities of individual’s lives and the challenges and conditions associated with homelessness. This position will primarily work Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
This position is part of the Hennepin County Single Adult Shelter Collaborative which coordinates the Hennepin County Adult Shelter Connect.
Provide quality service to individuals :
Conduct initial assessment for shelter placement in Single Adult Shelter Collaborative
Evaluate options for diversion to other safe and available nightly accommodation
Assist with completion of Combined Application Forms (CAF) applications and connection to county benefits
Refer clients to available and appropriate shelter beds
Manage all bed reservations using HMIS/ServicePoint.
Facilitate client transfer between shelters as needed (legal trespass, etc.)
Track client restrictions from individual shelter sites
Coordinate services with the entity assessing shelter vouchers to assist with vouchered referrals to Hennepin County Emergency Housing
Competently explain the single adult shelter system in Hennepin County to new and returning guests
Assess shelter users for Coordinated Entry (if applicable) using the VI-SDPAT and TAY-SPDAT
Complete accurate and thorough documentation and record-keeping in a timely manner :
Maintain individual files, including intake information, electronic data privacy releases and other applicable Releases of Information
Understand and comply with necessary data entry into the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and/or other data systems
Maintain accurate records including employee time sheets and other expenses.
Participate with funding reports, grant writing and site visits as requested.
Other duties as assigned
Provide positive representation of SHS through public relations and networking :
Communicate and coordinate services with all team members. Attend regular team meetings, other required meetings.
Interpret and promote the program to constituents, volunteers, and stakeholders.
Develop and maintain positive working relationships with staff, volunteers, participants and other stakeholders
Network with providers of similar services
Participate in professional meetings, workshops, and staff meetings.
Demonstrate essential knowledge, abilities and skills :
Ability to work well independently but also excel at teamwork and collaboration
Ability to be flexible and manage time.
Knowledge of Harm Reduction/Housing First Model and commitment to that model and trauma-informed service
Ability to communicate effectively, positively and professionally with participants, providers, and others.
Ability to work with individuals from very diverse backgrounds.
Ability to perform non-traditional tasks while meeting participant needs
Ability to maintain confidentiality
Adhere to a standard framework of boundaries in all interactions with guests, volunteers, staff and public
Scope of Position
This position provides assessment and placement into single adult shelter beds in Hennepin County. It is anticipated that the position will complete 24 assessments in an 8 hour work day.
Participant populations may include those with chemical use issues, criminal histories, trauma, grief, and/or mental health issues.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Bachelor’s degree in Human Services or Related Field of Study, or equal experience in the field is required
Fluency in written and spoken Spanish required
Must be computer proficient
Very broad knowledge of shelter and other resources.
Driver’s license and car preferred
Experience working with individuals who are homeless or having personally experienced homelessness.
Experience working with adults with mental illness and chemical use issues
Essential Mental Functions
The employee, in collaboration with the participant, must determine the needs of the participants and how best to meet these needs. This means, the employee will assess a participant’s situation to be able to identify more fully the needs of the participants.
To provide adequate assistance, the employee must draw on the ability to empathize, problem solve, and the ability to accept people unconditionally with an openness to new ideas. To interpret policies and guidelines, employee must draw on analytical abilities.
The employee must understand and apply knowledge of domestic abuse, childhood trauma, grief and loss, sexual violence and exploitation, homelessness, social support systems and advocacy in terms of providing services to individuals in crisis.
Essential Physical Functions
The employee must be able to hear and speak, in order to communicate with staff and participants in person, on the telephone and in writing. Employee must be able to move about the community and public places. Employee must be able to lift items up to 40 pounds occasionally.
Percentage time spent away from main office/location:
Time inside: 95%, Time outside: 5%, Agency travel time required: 1%
Travel includes travel within the community including attending community and/or staff meetings. Time spent with Adult Shelter Connect guests is approximately 95%.
Type of guidance and supervision received: Will participate in regular team meetings as well as bi-weekly direct supervision meetings.
Number of Direct Reports: 0
Number of In-direct Reports: May provide volunteer or intern supervision