Shelter Advocate

Title: Advocate 
 
Program: Domestic Violence Shelter
 
Reports to: Shelter Program Director
 
The shelter is a 60-day emergency shelter open 24-hours a day. With a 65-bed capacity, the shelter provides services to men, women and children of all ages who are victims of domestic violence. The shelter provides shelter to victims from around the world due to being one of the first shelters in the country to provide services to men. The shelter provides the following supportive services:
 
  • 24-hour hotline
  • Response to hospital emergency room calls
  • Peer counseling
  • Transportation
  • Maintaining a business center
  • Counseling for children
  • Shelter
  • Social service advocacy
  • Emergency food and clothing
  • Court advocacy/accompaniment
  • Response to law enforcement calls
  • Household establishment
  • Legal assistance with temporary restraining orders/permanent restraining orders
 
Additional services include individual and group therapy, domestic violence education/prevention groups, safety planning, emergency safety moves, assistance in applying for financial assistance, assistance in applying for housing opportunities, resources and referrals. The shelter assist an average of 330 people per year. All of the services are provided by domestic violence advocates on shelter grounds. 

Essential Job Functions:
Provide crisis intervention and referrals on the 24 hour hotline to those seeking shelter and other services, not limited to domestic violence;
Provide hotline callers with information, resources and referrals as needed;
Transfer emergency hospital calls to on-call advocates as needed;
Complete shelter intakes and provide an orientation to incoming residents - Communicate shelter guidelines and expectations to residents as outlined;
Complete all paperwork and dailies by end of each shift;
Assist in resident file audits;
Complete exit paperwork for residents moving out: clean/sanitize rooms after residents exit and prepare for the next resident;
Assist residents with crisis/peer counseling; 
Transportation to hospital, metro link, etc. if needed;
Respond appropriately to clients’ individual needs for clothing, necessities and supplies, as well as their needs for information, referral and access to community resources to assist with self-sufficiency;
Assist client to coordinate health, mental health, legal, employment, education, criminal/civil case, DPSS, GAIN, CalWORKs appointments;
Maintain Master Book of all shelter documents;
Create linen/hygiene bags for incoming residents;
Assist in the care and maintenance of the shelter; 
Assist in household chores – such as but not limited to: laundry, cleaning of bathrooms, kitchen, main room;
Conscientiously communicate information between shifts; 
Maintain and update referral book as necessary;
Complete ground and resident room checks;
Log all in-coming calls, hotlines, messages, and possible problems in the agency logbook;
Perform routine chores and cleaning task assigned by shift to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the shelter facility;
Attend agency and program meetings;
Attend trainings and continuing education activities as assigned;
Adhere to agency policies and procedures including confidentiality, child abuse reporting, and code of ethics;
Additional tasks, projects and or responsibilities as assigned by Supervisor that are not outlined but which are an important part of the agency’s goals and/or program outcomes.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  
Knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence;
Able to work with a diverse population and provide culturally competent advocacy;
Actively promote positive, nurturing interactions between residents; 
Able to work well in a crisis situation; 
Able to handle common problems without supervisor intervention while knowing when supervisor participation is warranted;
Work effectively under conditions of limited supervision, high stress and rapidly changing situations and circumstances;
Understanding of and sensitivity to the unique circumstances of underserved populations and to survivors of domestic violence;
Knowledge of resources including legal, medical, housing, educational and social service agencies and other resources in the community;
Able to take appropriate steps to deal with emergency situations with the goal of maintaining the safety of all residents;
Promote cooperation and commitment within a team to achieve goals and objective; collaborate with team members, sharing ideas and differences openly; be receptive to new ideas and adapt to change as necessary;
Considers impact of personal and professional choices. Consistently make decisions in keeping with organizational values and Supervisor’s direction;
Strict confidentiality must be observed as it relates to client information, agency business, program decisions and all other personal information
Excellent organizational skills and the ability to follow through from beginning to end on tasks
Outstanding communication skills, both written and oral; must communicate professionally and positively with participants, co-workers, management, community partners, employers, landlords, and other service providers
Proficient with office communication equipment and machines (telephone, copier, calculator, fax machine, personal computer, laptop, computer printer and scanner).
Proficient in use of laptop/desktop computer, Microsoft Windows and Office software programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Google drive
Ability to work a flexible schedule; including nights, days, weekends and holidays
Use of a personal vehicle may be required to travel in and around Antelope Valley and/or Los Angeles County and periodically transport participants 
Maintain professional boundaries and work collaboratively with participants, volunteers and staff
Accountability – be on time for scheduled shifts
Be able to read and write English
Bilingual Preferred but not required

Qualifications & Experience:
High School Graduate or equivalent
One year experience in victim services
One year experience in social services setting; preferably working as an employee or volunteer in providing victims services
Experience in a residential facility setting strongly preferred
Experience working with trauma survivors
Experience working with domestic violence survivors

Agency Requirements:
Must have a valid California Driver’s License
Reliable transportation
Auto Insurance
Clean driving record
Employee will be required to complete a TB test, fingerprinting, drug screen (employment pending on drug screen, background and review of motor vehicle report), 72-hour Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault training and CPR/First Aid certification.

Work Conditions & Physical Demands
The following are work conditions that one may encounter in the course of performing their job duties:
May be in contact with individuals in crisis 
May experience unpleasant sensory demands associated with an individual’s use of alcohol and drugs, and lack of personal care
May experience crisis situations and potentially hostile situations, must be ready to respond quickly and effectively. 
An employee is required to:
Walk and climb stairs; Handle, grasp and feel objects and equipment; Reach with hands and arms; extend both arms above the head and/or reach below the waist; Communicate ideas and information verbally and written word; Be able to move oneself quickly and easily from place to place; Repeat various motions with hands, wrists, fingers; Climb on stools, steps and/or ladders; Be subject to outside environmental conditions, including but not limited to: Rain, heat, wind. 
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. If accommodation(s) are required, employee must inform Human Resources by the first week of employment. If an accommodation is not required at the time of employment, but is later required, you must inform Human Resources at the time it is needed. 

Benefits:
Health Employee Assistance Plan Paid Sick
Dental AFLAC Paid Vacation
Vision Cafeteria 125 Plan Personal Days
Acupuncture/Chiropractic Retirement Plan Remote Work *
Life Insurance 14 Observed Holidays  
Remote Work: Valley Oasis considers Remote Work to be a viable, flexible work option when both the employee and the position are suited to such an arrangement and must meet eligibility requirements.

Schedule:
40 hours a week; schedule will consist of a combination of shifts including 4pm – 12am and 12am – 8am (may be required to work other than normal duty hours, to include day and evening shifts, weekends, holidays and/or on call status)

An Equal Opportunity Employer: Selection will be based solely on merit and will be without discrimination because of age, race, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability.
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