Housing Navigator (Shelters) (Kona)

Mar 27 2024
HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc. |Hilo|Full Time, $22.00 - $25.00 / hour
Job Description


Status: Non-Exempt                                                                                              Reports To: Team Leader

The Housing Navigator is a compassionate, organized, and trained professional that has extensive experience working with individuals/families householdsthat are homeless – including those that are or chronically homeless. Hope Services engages with people are provided in the natural settings of the people supported – from streets and shelters through to people’s homes, and the Housing Navigator is expected to help support a transition to a permanent solution to homelessness for all people, regardless of where they are encountered and supported. Furthermore, tThe Housing Navigator is accountable to end users of services, peers, and the community and ethically perform duties in accordance with the main currents of thought and practice in housing-based supports and in accordance with professional standards.

The primary function of the Housing Navigator is to: 1. Certify individuals/households as homeless in accordance with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Standards; 2. Prioritize services based on the VI-SPDAT assessment (a triage tool that assesses depth of need); 3. Assist individuals/households in becoming Document Ready; 4. Participate in the Warm Handoff to the Housing Team.

As a secondary function, the Housing Navigator also provides client advocacy, case management, benefit establishment, linkage to mental health and substance use services, and all other supportive services as needed. Housing Navigators will provide individualized client support by helping each client develop a plan to address their barriers including an honest budget. As part of the plan, the Housing Navigator will identify areas in which clients will need assistance to accomplish the outlined goals and objectives (i.e. scheduling appointments, applying for public benefits, identifying subsidized housing, etc.) and the Housing Navigator will take full responsibility for their clients’ success.can be heavily involved in supporting the work of outreach staff and case managers to help ensure support and housing needs are met.

Primary "office" may be in an outdoors community setting, homeless shelter, or resource center.

Using a multi-disciplinary skill set, the Housing Navigator must be able to exercise the following skills:

  • Objective information gathering from people seeking services;
  • Execute services to program standards;
  • Ensure that services are provided in a safe, respectful, and effective manner;
  • Engage with people in a non-judgmental manner, respecting their personal autonomy and decision-making;
  • Respond to referrals and client’s request for assessment and intervention within required response time;
  • Conduct initial screening, assessments, and intake documentation;
  • Help participants establish goals and an individualized housing plan, when required, with the outreach or case management staff;
  • Provide services designed to assist clients and their families in becoming document ready;
  • Assess risks and develop appropriate plans to help ensure continuation of service;
  • Communicate effectively with local community and external agencies, while successfully fostering relationships which enable needed resources to be accessed;
  • Coordinate provision of services with other programs within the community;
  • Respond to community requests for street outreach intervention and mediate disputes between homeless persons and neighborhood residents and business owners;
  • Resolve complex community issues involving the program and its participants;
  • Respond to crisis situations in a calm and professional manner, ensuring the safety of clients and staff. Provide crisis debriefing after incidents, as appropriate.
  • Attend assigned community and other stakeholder meetings and advocate for client and program needs;
  • Document program participant outcomes, including electronic and hard-file records, ensuring that data is entered accurately, in a timely manner, and in accordance with agency and regulatory standards and funder requirements;
  • Complete reports and other program administrative duties in a timely manner;
  • Provide internal and external presentations on the program, its intentions and its results;
  • Model effective engagement Housing First Case Management techniques and strategies including: Motivational Interviewing, Assertive Engagement,  Stages of Change,De-escalation, and Active Listening;
  • Excellent communication skills in all mediums;
  • Achieve knowledge of the contracts and grants working under;
  • Actively participate in staff meetings and trainings;
  • Other duties as assigned.

The Housing Navigator must be able to fulfill duties in accordance with the Housing First approach, including:

  • Housing as the first essential step, without any requirements for sobriety, participation in treatment, medication protocol, compliance, or demonstrated “housing readiness”;
  • Recovery orientation related to mental wellness and cognitive functioning;
  • Reducing harm to the individual and broader community;
  • Remaining non-judgmental in behaviors, practices, beliefs and actions of service participants;
  • Promoting and empowering meaningful choices and service access options, as well as allowing the service participant to influence the type, duration, frequency and intensity of supports;
  • Absence of coercion, tricks or contracting;
  • Supporting greater independence overtime;
  • Professional relationship without dependency that supports “doing with” instead of “doing for”;
  • Expressing empathy and positivity;
  • Remaining future oriented, not anchored to past events, with a strong sense of promoting hope and possibility in a realistic manner;
  • Transparency and disclosure of information with the service participant using full informed consent;
  • Balancing the needs of the client, community and landlord in each situation;
  • The right to refuse or revoke services and/or seek restitution or grieve instances where they feel services are inappropriate or inadequate.

The Housing Navigator must have a considerable knowledge and expertise in the areas of:

  • Legal requirements and risks to perform this type of work, including the relevant legislation that impacts decision-making in particular situations;
  • Rental housing and requirements of tenants and landlords bylaw;
  • Homelessness, especially chronic homelessness;
  • Dependency and addiction to onsubstances;
  • Aboriginal culture and impacts on cultural identity;
  • Economic poverty;
  • Income support services;
  • Child welfare;
  • Health care, mental health care, and addiction services;
  • Harm reduction;
  • Trauma and abuse;
  • Domestic and intimate partner violence (victim and perpetrators);
  • Life changes and ageing;
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Privacy and confidentiality;
  • Self-care;
  • Corrections and criminal justice.

In the course of performing the duties of the Housing Navigator it is not uncommon to see, engage or be confronted with first hand – or have staff encounter first hand – the following: violence and threats of violence; profane, racist and/or sexist language; bodily fluids; conflict; interactions with First Responders; alcohol and other street drugs; cigarette smoke; death of service participants or her/his associates; nudity of service participants or her/his associates; friends/family dynamics with service participants; people involved with sex work; people involved in the drug trade; persons used against their consent, will or knowledge; people in conflict with the law; and/or other situations that may be unsettling. Measures are taken to train staff to appropriately deal with these situations, but those in the position should reasonably expect these types of things to occur and the Team Leader must provide appropriate direction and support to these situations.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma and two years of experience serving vulnerable and challenged individuals.
  • An Associate’s Degree or higher may substitute years of experience.
  • Current driver’s license and traffic abstract.
  • Personal vehicle with current safety check, registration and minimum no-fault insurance coverage.
  • Availability to work occasional evening and weekend shifts.

 Candidates must display and/or demonstrate physical ability to:

  • Engage with a computer keyboard and look at a computer monitor for several hours per day, and/or, exercise with comparable technologies like tablets;
  • Climb and/or walk up and down stairs and/or walkways.
  • Sit for periods of up to 30 minutes at a time.
  • Walk and/or standing for up to 30 minutes at a time.
  • Lift, carry, pull and/or push items up to 30 pounds at a time and for short distances.  Such motions may include reasonable bending, stooping, reaching and twisting.

Starting Hourly Pay Range: $22/hr - $25/hr