YEAH! YOUTH ENGAGEMENT ADVOCACY HOUSING
A program of Covenant House California
Job Description for Per Diem Shelter Advocates
As our direct care staff work with youth that are 18-24 years old,
we require that applicants are at least 25 years old.
Berkeley's homeless population is estimated to be 1,200, about 225 of whom are youth aged 18 to 25. Three quarters are male and 54% Caucasian. In interviews, 85% said they are local, 73% self-reported active drug or alcohol use, 36% indicated they have mental health problems, half have not graduated from high school, and 79% have no source of income.
YEAH! is a community-based agency providing shelter and support services to young adults between the ages of 18-24 who are homeless. Our programs include street-based outreach, a shelter for 30 youth each night, individual mental health supports, groups and activities, and ongoing support for individuals who have moved into housing.
The YEAH! shelter is open seven nights a week, all year round. It is staffed each night by two trained supervisors and a team of volunteers. Youth in the program are served a hot dinner and breakfast in the morning. They sleep on mats with fresh sheets. Clean socks and underwear are provided when available. They have access to a shower nightly. In addition, we provide medical referrals and on-site therapy. We also work closely with Berkeley Mental Health, Lifelong Medical Clinic, the Homeless Action Center, Suitcase Clinic and other local agencies.
Through our Clinical Day Program, YEAH! provides intensive case management and counseling to a select group. Participants meet regularly with a trained clinician. Together they set goals and chart a path to their preferred lives. Youth are helped to find employment, to secure permanent, affordable housing, to return to (or stay in) school, and to learn to utilize community resources.
YEAH!'s core values include treating all people with dignity and respect; holding relationship-building as foundational to everything we do; being intentional about co-creating community; affirming and valuing diversity and fostering inclusivity; and, holding ourselves to high standards of quality for service delivery.
We are seeking qualified applicants to become a part of an exciting and dynamic organization that makes a difference in the lives of homeless and trafficked youth. Applicants that have experience working with youth that have experienced homelessness, who have traumatic histories, identify as LGBTQ, are gender non-conforming and/or who often face multiple issues and have complex needs. Applicants with knowledge and/or experience working with youth development programs, utilizing a harm reduction framework, using trauma informed practices and will value working with a multi-disciplinary team to create a safe inclusive environment would be highly preferred.
All staff members are also expected to attend staff meetings held every other Tuesday from 5:30-7:30pm at YEAH!
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES ON ALL SHIFTS:
- Prepare for each shift by reading staff log and communicating with on-site volunteers and co-workers.
- Monitor and maintain the safety of youth in the shelter
- Ensure the shelter is a welcoming environment, which includes maintaining a space in which harassment and discriminatory actions or remarks are not tolerated.
- Engage with youth in the program to check in on their well-being
- Assist youth in navigation of shelter program and guidelines
- Consistently enforce shelter guidelines
- Utilize harm reduction intervention, particularly in relation to substance abuse
- Thoroughly and accurately document all pertinent incident that take place throughout shift, as well as any referrals or support services provided to youth clients.
- Assist in maintenance of the shelter space
- Maintain strict confidentiality of all clients' information, with the exception of instances mandated by law. In such cases, follow agency protocol for reporting and response.
- Take on role as listener, guide, and role model for youth; not as a therapist nor as a friend.
- Adopt a trauma-informed, flexible approach to the work that identifies problems as external from individuals
- Additional projects or responsibilities, as needed and assigned by supervisor
ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES ON OVERNIGHT SHIFT (12:15-8:15am or 12:30-8:30am):
- Stay awake throughout entire shift to ensure safety and security of youth program
- Assist with maintenance of shelter space, including doing laundry, organizing donations room, completing facility logs, and other projects as needed
- Maintain client resource files
- Facilitate morning's schedule, including turning on lights and making announcements about times to wake up, ensuring all participants leave the program on-time
- Document the number of youth who stayed overnight in the program and complete exit assessments with any youth who report they are leaving the program.
- Complete full “overnight checklist” on each shift
- EXPERIENCE: Minimum of 1-2 years' experience working with young adults ages 18-24 in a supportive capacity. Experience working with youth who are homeless and/or with youth who have expressed mental health or substance use concerns preferred.
- SKILLS: Must have strong verbal and written communication skills, and demonstrated capacity to make safety-driven, effective decisions in crisis situations. Must be able to respond in clear, calm manner to crises that may arise, including incidents of confrontation, violence or medical crises. Must be computer literate (Word, Excel, databases, etc.). Must be a team player with the ability to work collaboratively with other staff members, program participants, and volunteers. Must have personal willingness to engage in self-reflective practice, including awareness of ones own cultural biases.
- WORKING CONDITIONS: Must be able to lift up to 40 lbs. on occasion, bend, sit and stand for prolonged periods of time. The shelter is open 7 days per week year-round: some weekend/holiday work may be required.
- KNOWLEDGE: Harm Reduction Philosophy and Application; Crisis Intervention; Mental Health Care; Attachment Theory; Multi-Cultural Awareness; and Trauma Informed Care. Adopting a stance of constant learning is embraced and expected. CPR & First Aid training preferred, but can be obtained post-hire.
- EQUIPMENT USED: Computers (including email and online database) and telephone.
YEAH! does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
YEAH! is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.