Advocate

Location: Women’s Lunch Place

Purpose of Position: Working as an Advocate you provide professional, timely and effective advocacy services to women experiencing poverty and homelessness. WLP advocates are responsive to a diverse and challenging guest community by being flexible to guests’ needs, identifying how best to achieve short and long-term goals, recommending and offering guests the tools and support to solve their problems, and providing appropriate follow-up assistance. Advocacy staff actively work with volunteers and other staff to engage guests and coordinate services according to our integrated model of care, helping vulnerable women gain access to housing, mental health services, substance use disorder treatment, and other critical services.

Reports to: Advocacy Manager
Exempt Status: Exempt
Position Status: Full Time

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Schedule is Tuesday – Saturday.

Advocacy: 

  • Establish and cultivate supportive and trusting relationships with guests.

  • Respond effectively and appropriately to the needs of guests in the shelter and during individual meetings.

  • Provide advocacy and care coordination services: listen to and assess guests’ needs and strengths, record relevant data and information in File Maker.

  • Work with guest on an action plan and schedule follow-up appointments until guest’s needs are met or she stops attending meetings.

  • Provide responsive assistance to solve immediate concerns and needs.

  • Assist with guest needs for housing, public benefits, trauma intervention, financial questions, and make referrals for professional help with physical & mental health, addiction and any other personal requests.

  • Provide all responses and interventions in a therapeutic manner, integrating client-centered and trauma-informed techniques and other modalities as necessary (i.e. harm reduction, cognitive behavioral, motivational interviewing).

  • Evaluate interventions on on-going basis.

  • Prepare for crises and respond as needed.

  • Develop and maintain relationships with other critical service providers and changes in their programs.

  • Accompany guests when appropriate, to meetings and appointments for housing, court, and medical.

  • Attend offsite meetings and workshops as assigned by supervisor.

  • Meet with Advocacy Manager for weekly supervision.

  • Perform other responsibilities as assigned by Advocacy Manager.

Shelter Operations:

  • Work schedule includes weekly drop-in advocacy hours, scheduled appointments with guests, and office hours. Also includes training, workshops and WLP commitments.

  • Act as a liaison with shelter direct care & resource center staff and volunteers as needed.

  • Support guests’ needs in accordance with policies and procedures manual, and as directed by Advocacy Manager, Director of Programs or Executive Director.

  • Attend meetings relevant to the position.

  • Maintain staff, volunteer, donor and guest confidentiality.

  • Participate in WLP community holiday celebrations and events, whenever possible.

  • Create a safe and welcoming environment for staff, volunteers and guests.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree, a Masters in a related field a plus.

  • Ability to learn and work quickly and take initiative.

  • Ability to set limits in a firm and respectful manner.

  • Ability to respond to and prioritize multiple requests for assistance and remain organized.

  • Understanding of and competency in engaging and working with women experiencing poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction, survivors of trauma, abuse or other challenges.

  • Clear and professional writing skills.

  • Positive, respectful, non-judgmental attitude.

  • Computer literacy.

  • Experience in mental health and/or housing advocacy most helpful.

  • Experience and or understanding of trauma informed care.

  • Knowledge of emergency services available in Boston area most helpful.

  • Knowledge of resources available for poor and low-income women.

  • Familiarity with MA legal system, addiction and substance abuse behaviors and treatment resources.

  • Commitment to a team approach working with staff, volunteers and guests.

  • Bilingual in Spanish, Haitian Creole or Portuguese a plus.

  • Access to automobile for work related travel.

Women’s Lunch Place offers a rewarding work environment with competitive salary, generous benefits and a strong commitment to diversity in its workforce and programs.  Women’s Lunch Place does not discriminate based on race, color, gender or gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.

AdvocacyRani Wise