Organizational Background

About Abby’s House
Founded in 1976, Abby’s House was one of the first shelters specifically for homeless women in the US. Our mission is “to provide shelter and affordable housing, as well as advocacy and support services, to homeless, battered and low-income women, with or without children.” Abby’s House currently has 79 units of affordable housing and 9 overnight shelter beds that are supported by advocacy services.

Position Overview
The Shelter Advocate works directly with low-income women and children from diverse backgrounds who are experiencing homelessness and are seeking shelter or housing. The Shelter Advocate welcomes women who come through our doors to identify their options and proactively seeks housing opportunities and manages housing inventory lists for the organization. Upon a woman’s entry into shelter, the Shelter Advocate supports the Shelter Manager’s work with guests on their individualized service plans and manages the shelter environment. This position is a full-time, exempt position, Tuesday through Saturday (or Monday through Friday) from 10:30 am – 6:00 pm (or 10:00 am – 5:30 pm). The Shelter Advocate will participate in an on-call coverage rotation that may include occasional emergency overnight coverage at the shelter. The Shelter Advocate reports to the Shelter Manager.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Meet with women experiencing homelessness to identify their options and provide information, using a collaborative and strengths-based approach.
  • Help women to complete housing and shelter applications for Abby’s House.
  • Provide support and guidance to women in crisis, staying grounded and eliciting self-regulation skills.
  • Document, track, and regularly update a housing inventory list, including requirements and application processes.
  • Proactively seek housing opportunities for women, including private and public subsidized units and community programs and partners, and develop new partnerships with property management companies and landlords.
  • Provide support to guests in concert with their Individual Empowerment Plans developed with the Shelter Manager, following the Manager’s direction.
  • Provide immediate support to women in person or via advocacy phone, as determined by the emergency on-call coverage schedule.
  • Accompany shelter guests to social service appointments, the hospital, employment services, and other community resources.
  • Listen and respond to guests to avoid/resolve problems and conflicts, and provide crisis intervention, coaching, and support to shelter guests through a trauma-informed lens.
  • Maintain timely and accurate guest records and progress notes in the shelter log as directed.
  • Ensure that the shelter residence provides safe, sanitary, hospitable, and respectful temporary housing according to the policies set by Abby’s House.
  • Work collaboratively with, and support, the shelter volunteers and interns at the start of their shift in the shelter.
  • Responsible for turn-over of guest rooms including laundering bedding, sanitation and cleaning protocols for the guests’ move in and out of shelter.
  • Responsible for supply inventory, ordering, and maintenance of all needed household items.
  • Inventory food and perishables and replenish and transport items to and from the shelter, supplementing donations through regular shopping.

Qualifications

  • Passion for Abby’s House mission and values.
  • A minimum of an associate degree and/or certificate in human services or comparable experience.
  • 2 years’ experience working in the human services field, preferably in a shelter program setting.
  • Knowledge of the impact of trauma and the ability to provide trauma-informed care.
  • Prior direct service work with individuals affected by addiction, trauma and/or mental illness.
  • Ability to be sensitive to the needs of diverse women and maintain confidentiality standards and exemplify compassion, hospitality, inclusiveness, and respect.
  • Exceptional time management, organization, and attention to detail.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; ability to use computer software including Microsoft Office.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, collaborative work style, and ability to take direction.
  • Driver’s license and personal vehicle.
  • CPR/First Aid Certified (or ability to obtain certification within 90 days of hire); NARCAN certified (or ability to certify within 90 days of hire).
  • Bi-lingual abilities preferred, specifically in an African language, Portuguese, or Spanish.

Salary and Benefits
This position is a full-time 35-hour per week position. Abby’s House offers a competitive salary and work-life balance, including 4 weeks of vacation, 40 hours of sick time, 11 holidays. Abby’s House contributes 70% toward a premium for an insurance plan through Abby’s House and offers low-cost vision and dental insurance, and employer-paid life, long-term and short-term disability insurance.

Abby’s House is an equal opportunity employer and embraces diversity at all levels of the organization. In keeping with our values, Abby’s House is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in all the organization’s activities, programs, practices, and services. We also are a Trauma Informed organization, and we encourage applicants who have ample capacity for reflective thinking and learning and with lived experience who are well-grounded in their own recovery.

Application Instructions

If you are interested in applying for this position, send a resume and cover letter to . Put “Shelter Advocate” in the subject line. In your cover letter, explain your interest in working for the mission of Abby’s House and prior experience that best highlights your qualifications. Applications will be reviewed on July 19 and on a rolling basis thereafter. We will accept applications until the position is filled.