Problem Solving Specialist

Job Title: Problem Solving Specialist
Reports To: Director of Programs Families System


Valley Oasis Coordinated Entry System provides comprehensive services designed to address the root cause of poverty and homelessness within SPA 1 of Los Angeles County. Clients may be mentally ill, have intellectual developmental disabilities, substance abuse issues, and chronic medical/physical disabilities, exiting institutions and are homeless.
Problem-Solving (also known as "Diversion" or "Rapid Resolution") is a crisis response philosophy and approach focused on supporting individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis to quickly identify and access alternative housing resources outside of the homeless crisis response system. By practicing active listening skills through creative conversations, Problem-Solving supports the individual or family in crisis to identify viable temporary or permanent housing resources within their own networks or resources, such as family or friends. In select cases and as a last resort, limited and one-time financial assistance can enhance an individual or family's success in rapidly connecting to alternative temporary or permanent housing.

Position Duties:
  • Meet each participant and learn about their dynamics, communication style, and cultural factors
  • Ask open ended and difficult/personal questions
  • Utilize active listening and motivational interviewing with participants
  • Identify safety or health issues that may need to be considered during identification of housing
  • Find options outside the homeless services system regardless of time homelessness, family size, mental health or substance abuse issues, etc.
  • Provide mediation between households and property owners/family/friends to assist in resolving housing crisis
  • Partner with legal service providers to resolve housing crisis
  • Provide support to participants in the field
  • Acquire resources and make successful referrals, including effective follow up to ensure the participant was able to access the resource
  • Negotiate terms of agreements between participants and host, I.e. actively seek employment, attend to medical/mental health/substance abuse issues, complete household chores weekly, etc.
  • Ensure that all services are documented (e.g. face to face, phone and collateral contacts) in a timely and thorough manner
  • Assist in budgeting with participants, and determine what level of minimal assistance is necessary to be successfully housed or have housing crisis resolved
  • Continuous try of new approaches/solutions
  • Empower participants to utilize their own strengths
  • Remain empathic while staying on task
  • Attendance in trainings and learning collaboratives
  • Works in coordination with the FSC Case Management team and crisis housing providers to ensure seamless and integrated care for homeless families in the SPA.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Expected Competencies:
  • 1 – 3 years’ experience working with individuals/families experiencing homelessness or imminently at risk.
  • Knowledge of HMIS
  • Knowledge and experience working with co-occurring populations (chronic health conditions, mental health and substance abuse)
  • Knowledge and experience with motivational interviewing, evidence-based practices, including trauma informed care framework
  • Understanding of Housing-First model of housing, harm reduction and homeless services within the service area
  • Strong belief in growth mindset, self-determination, and psychological resilience
  • Compliance with information and security policy and procedures
  • Bilingual in Spanish is a plus
  • Counseling experience preferred
Agency Requirements:
  • Must have valid CA Driver’s License and a clean driving record
  • Proof of TB testing
  • Knowledge of housing issues in Antelope Valley preferred.
  • Current knowledge of best practice models, including: Housing First, Mental Health Recovery, Harm Reduction, and Critical Time Intervention
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Valley Oasis is a community based organization dedicated to eliminating social and domestic violence and homelessness through community awareness, intervention, prevention, safe shelter, and supportive services.

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For more than 33 years, Antelope Valley Domestic Violence Council, now known as Valley Oasis, has devoted its energy to passionately advocating for the hurt, needy and politically under-represented members of the Antelope Valley.

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