The Housing Navigator is responsible for providing direct assistance and support to participants experiencing a housing crisis and homelessness through clinical engagement and intensive case management services. These services include, but are not limited to, the following: crisis intervention; developing and promoting housing readiness; accessing opportunities for housing assistance and rental subsidy programs (e.g. Section 8, EHAP); and securing permanent housing placement. The position is also responsible for the development and implementation of a housing plan and participant budget for each program participant. This position requires extensive coordination within multiple internal LAFH Programs (e.g. collaboration with the Engagement, Interim Housing, Housing Location, and Housing Stabilization teams), and external systems that include developing relationships with the Housing Authority, DCFS, DMH, community partners and resources, landlords, and property owners and managers (e.g. following up with housing leads, and applying for units to facilitate optimal outcomes for families and moving into permanent housing).
- Conduct Initial Meeting and Assessment for each participant accessing services to build rapport and relationship while evaluating participants’ housing needs, history, barriers, and available services and support
- Develop and engage participant in a concrete and tailored Housing Stability Plan for each client to determine appropriate permanent housing intervention and service needs
- Complete and follow up with Interim Housing referrals to Managers for families that have been identified as needing immediate shelter. Complete subsequent Interim Housing extensions.
- Connect program Participants to community resources that will support the goal of permanent housing (e.g. benefits advocacy, food pantries, employment services, mental health)
- Must be comfortable providing direct field-based services to participants at identified motels and interim housing locations
- Assess and seek consultation through regular Case Conferencing and Case Presentations
- Available to assist when participants are experiencing an immediate need, crisis, or emergency (e.g. child abuse reporting, assessing for suicidal or homicidal risks or threats, etc.)
- Facilitate access to services needed to support housing readiness and reduce impact of barriers (e.g. child care, credit repair, legal aid, housekeeping, money management, tenant rights and responsibilities, etc.)
- Coordinate with internal teams to ensure clients have the necessary items to secure housing (e.g. valid identification, income verification, bank statements)
- Regularly review housing leads and update outcomes on agency’s Housing Location website (e.g. affordable housing resources for reference in locating appropriate housing)
- Strategize and present housing leads to participants that include listings from agency, housing authority, internet, and internal database of landlords/management firms/owners
- Provide information and instruction to clients regarding how to complete a housing application, housing searches, and tenant rights and responsibilities, including observation of rental agreement rules and being a good tenant
- Document all Participant interactions through Case Notes using clinical documentation and HIPAA standards, and maintain timely, thorough, and accurate records for reporting purposes in HMIS database
- Adhere to Data and Compliance expectations regarding directives that include maintaining complete Participant files
- Engage and assist clients with applying for permanent subsidy or low-income housing assistance programs including, but not limited to, Section 8 certification, EHAP, and CalWorks Homeless Move-In Assistance Program
- Assist participants with developing and maintaining a personal budget
- When required, provide transportation to participants to housing viewing appointments, move-ins, housing authority appointments, and specific visits to relevant social service agencies that will support with meeting housing plan goals
- Prioritize caseload and determine level of contact, coordination, and care needed for each participant
- Provide advocacy to help address issues and barriers between landlord and Participant that may prevent move-in
- Follow up with each Participant as needed to ensure they are making progress towards their permanent housing goals
- Collaborate with all internal teams to meet agency goals for housing placements
- Ensure a “warm” hand-off and transition to the housing stabilizer to provide ongoing in-home case management services
- Complete all exits and documentation that is needed in the Participant’s file and given to management to review by the end of every month
- Participate in individual and group supervision, agency, and community meetings as directed by supervisor
- Drive personal vehicle in and around Los Angeles County and drive agency vehicles periodically to transport clients
- Additional tasks, projects, and responsibilities as assigned by Housing Navigation Manager
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
- Passion for ending homelessness. Able to demonstrate empathy and a non-judgmental attitude when engaging with persons experiencing homelessness
- Desire to work with families experiencing homelessness from trauma-informed and strengths-based frameworks
- Must be flexible and demonstrate ability to adapt and thrive in fast-paced and challenging environments. Navigators are required to work across a variety of office and field settings (motels, shelters, etc.)
- Knowledge of case management services and clinical approaches of Trauma-Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, and Harm Reduction Models are preferred
- Comfort with facilitating housing search skills including housing location, filling out housing applications, and the lease-up process
- Able to utilize housing assistance programs including: CalWorks Move-In Assistance, EHAP, etc.
- Demonstrated ability to prioritize roles, tasks, deliverables
- Effective time management skills
- Attention to detail when completing documentation and administrative tasks
- Knowledge of tenant/landlord law and tenant/landlord relations
- Creative problem-solving skills
- Write complete Case Notes and chart in electronic data entry and documentation database
- Strong advocacy skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to work in a team and independently
- Able to meet identified administrative deadlines and program deliverables
- Bilingual: Spanish/English preferred, but not required
- Obtain and maintain CPR/First Aid Certification
- Ability to pass post-offer Tuberculosis (TB) clearances
- Travel is a regular duty for this position and is required 60% of the time
- Use of a personal vehicle to travel between work sites and other locations is required
- Must have and maintain a valid California Driver’s License and insurance in good standing
- Ability to work a 9/80 work schedule
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor’s degree in Social Work or a related field and four (4) years of experience in social services, or an AA Degree in Social Work or a related field and six (6) years of social service experience
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Payroll Status: Hourly
Work Schedule: Full-Time
PHYSICAL DEMANDS, ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS, EQUIPMENT
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. Employee may be in contact with individuals and families in crisis who may be ill, using substances, and/or not be attentive to personal health and safety for themselves. The employee may experience a number of unpleasant sensory demands associated with a client’s use of alcohol and drugs, and the lack of personal care.
The employee must be ready to respond quickly and effectively to many types of situations, including crisis situations and potentially hostile situations. Employee is required to: Walk and climb stairs; Handle, finger, grasp, and feel objects and equipment; Reach with hands and arms; Communicate, receive, and exchange ideas and information by means of the spoken and written word; Be mobile by moving oneself from place to place quickly and easily; Repeat various motions with the wrists, hands, and fingers; Be able to have visual activity for (including, but not limited to) administrative and clerical tasks; Drive personal vehicle in and around Los Angeles County and periodically transport clients; Be able to enter various buildings that may require climbing stairs; Be subjected to outside environmental conditions; Use a personal and/or laptop computer, and copy, postage and fax machines. Complete all required forms in personal writing.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. If you require an accommodation, please make sure to inform the Human Resources Department by the first week of employment. If an accommodation is not required at the time of employment, but is later required, you must inform the Human Resources Department of the need for accommodation at the time it is needed.
Health, Dental, Vision, Life, Voluntary Life, 403B Retirement Plan, 529 Education Savings Plan, Long Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program, AFLAC Policies, AFLAC FSAs, Legal Policy, Employee Appreciation Program, Company Sponsored Employee Outings, 9/80 Alternative Work Schedule, Paid Sick, Vacation and 12 Observed Holidays.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
LAFH is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for applicants and employees.
FAIR CHANCE INITIATIVE
LAFH is in compliance with the Fair Chance Initiative for hiring and will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories.