General Statement of Duties:

This position will provide leadership and support for Housing Specialists within the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) team, in consultation and conjunction with the PSH Supervisor. The Lead Housing Specialist role works with participants to secure permanent housing, including providing assistance with housing vouchers, submitting housing applications, the leasing process and tenancy-related matters. They work collaboratively with Harrisonburg Rockingham Housing Authority (HRHA) to identify and assist individuals in accessing Mainstream Housing Vouchers and Permanent Supportive Housing vouchers through the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).

The Lead Housing Specialist will be responsible for providing backup to the PSH Supervisor and other team members, as well as serving as program resource to staff, other service providers, landlords and consumers. In addition, this position will assist in forming relationships with other community partners who are also addressing homelessness in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community and take a lead role in developing relationships with local landlords to provide affordable housing opportunities for individuals living in the community. The position involves some contact with associates in human service organizations, state and local government, professional organizations, and community advocacy groups. The position is supervised by the PSH Supervisor and is a member of the Community Mental Health Services team.  Regularly scheduled supervision is provided, as well as consultation and assistance necessary to accomplish the work. This position requires excellent organizational skills, and the ability to prioritize tasks based on client needs and meeting deadlines. This position requires the ability to work with considerable independence and sound judgment, to consult and collaborate with other staff members, to provide leadership within the team, the willingness and ability to utilize supervision, and commitment to working with individuals whose needs may be challenging to meet.

Persons in this class are classified non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Major Essential Functions: 

Serves as a support and resource to other team members, particularly related to PSH processes and guidelines;

Provides back up, as needed, to Program Supervisor and other team members on a variety of duties;

Supports and assists, as needed, with outreach and enrollment of participants into the PSH program in collaboration with HRHA;

Actively forms relationships with local landlords to secure affordable housing for participants;

Supports and assists with all necessary documentation for participants involved in the PSH program, including but not limited to, housing needs assessment, prioritization checklist, individualized service plans, contact notes, annual certification paperwork etc;

Supports and assists with reviews of the rental assistance and tenant rent amounts on an annual basis or when participant experiences a change in income or household composition;

Participates in treatment team meetings for PSH participants as appropriate;

Uses evidence based practices such as Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction and Trauma Informed Care in provision of services;

Collaborates and coordinates with other agency departments to help address housing needs of PSH participants;

Participates in community meetings, coalitions, etc., focused on homelessness and affordable housing;

Supports and assists, when needed, with annual apartment inspections to ensure the housing meets Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Quality Standards for PSH participants;

In collaboration with Program Supervisor, completes all necessary data collection and submission responsibilities associated with PSH funding;

In collaboration with the Program Supervisor, ensures the program is adhering to housing first principles and the permanent supportive housing model.

Makes effective use of available technology, including computers, e-mail, voice mail, and electronic health record;

Maintains effective relationships with co-workers and customers based on courtesy, compassion, and respect;

Reliable and regular attendance is required.

Perform other duties as agency needs require.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of mental health, substance use disorders, and/or intellectual disability concepts, especially as it relates to housing needs for adults with serious and persistent mental illness; familiarity with practices such as Housing First, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction and Trauma Informed Care; strong skills in community networking, partnership building and customer service; ability to establish goals; ability to work cooperatively and effectively with other individuals and organizations; demonstrated effective communication skills; demonstrated good judgment and conflict resolution skills; ability to assume appropriate initiative. Computer literacy and word processing skills required.

Minimum Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s Degree in human services and two years of experience working with individuals with mental illness, substance used disorders, and/or housing focused needs OR any equivalent combination of education and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Other Information:

Work Equipment: Smart Phone, calculator, computer and related software.

Work Environment: General office environment with normal lighting levels, temperature, air quality, ventilation, and noise levels.

Work Location: 1241 N. Main St. office and other community sites as necessary.

Work Hazards: Standard hazards associated with a mental health treatment environment. Standard hazards associated with human service residential environment including hazards associated with problem behaviors. Use of universal precautions required. 

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, regular office hours; additional hours as needed to perform job requirements.