Youth Outreach Specialist

Job Title:                Youth Outreach Specialist
Program:                Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP)
Reports To:           CES TAY Program Director
The Coordinated Entry System (CES) is the system in which individuals experiencing homelessness and organizations providing housing and other resources are linked in a systematic and efficient manner. As the lead agency for Service Planning Area 1 (SPA 1), Valley Oasis is entrusted to help coordinate the work of our valued partners in our mission to end homelessness in our region and beyond.

The Youth Outreach Specialist will work under the direction of the Senior Youth Outreach Specialist and TAY Program Director to identify and engage homeless youth where they are to build rapport and connect the youth to services. This position will be primarily in the field/community providing services in different locations within the SPA. The focus will be to reach youth (ages 18-24) experiencing homelessness.

Essential Job Functions
  • Engaging Homeless Youth via Outreach Activities – Youth Outreach Activities may include but are not limited to: Street Based, Local Hangouts (parks, libraries, shopping malls, etc.), Community Centers, Community Colleges, Charter Schools, Youth Drop-In Centers, Adult/Family Shelters, Community Partner Organizations, and Social Media
  • Coordinating referrals and program linkage to other regional programs serving homeless youth
  • Maintaining thorough and accurate records in both written form and through the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
  • Collaborate with other homeless outreach entities and Youth Service Providers in the SPA
  • Build rapport through progressive engagement with youth to gain trust
  • Conducts standardized screening and triage assessments
  • Motivate homeless and/or at-risk youth to engage in outreach services and resources that promote well- being
  • Provide mobile, field-based outreach to homeless youth
  • Provide resources and linkage to mental health, health, housing services and other supportive services such as job development, substance abuse, etc.
  • Collaborate with program Problem Solvers, SPA Outreach partner teams, Housing Navigation teams, Crisis, Bridge, and Transitional Housing Providers, and Time Limited Subsidies/Rapid Rehousing Providers to ensure seamless and integrated care for homeless youth in SPA 1
  • Screen and immediately address safety concerns for youth experiencing domestic violence, and immediately connect to a domestic violence shelter provider
  • Maintain up to date Clarity (HMIS) records for services provided to participants directly in the field
  • Utilize motivational interviewing interventions to increase positive outcomes
  • Coordinate transportation assistance for the purpose of providing supportive services
  • Drive agency vehicle to transport youth
  • Maintain professional relationships with offices of local Government, and City and County Departments
  • Represent Agency at Community meetings and advocate for participants at CES and Case Conferencing meetings
  • Be open and flexible to assisting other departments as needed
  • Engage effectively and constructively with the Senior to make program refinements in the best interests of the program
  • Use effective communication skills such as active and reflective listening to build rapport; utilize appropriate motivational interviewing interventions to increase positive outcomes
  • Participate in staff meetings, individual and group supervision, case conferences and training as required
  • 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 of resources to assist homeless youth throughout Los Angeles County
  • Knowledge of issues facing homeless youth (e.g., chronic health, substance abuse, mental health, domestic abuse, and resources for undocumented individuals)
  • Knowledge and ability to navigate Social Media Platforms to identify and engage with homeless youth
  • Knowledge and ability to utilize Social Media for the purpose of youth engagement, resource promotion, development of an online presence to assist youth, etc.
  • Knowledge of marketing and creative platforms such as Canva
  • Ability to accurately enter client data and notes in HMIS (Homeless Management Information System)
  • Knowledge of HUD guidelines and experience working with subsidized housing programs such as Section 8, Shelter Plus Care, Time Limited Subsidies/Rapid Rehousing, and others
  • Clear understanding of the concepts of Housing First, Trauma Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction, Mental Health First Aid, Critical Time Intervention, and the Coordinated Entry System (CES)
  • Strong knowledge of issues confronted by and sensitivity to individuals with substance abuse, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, mental health issues, history of trauma and co-occurring-diagnoses
  • Positive attitude, good judgment, and the ability to comfortably interact with diverse populations, be energetic and independent and have a strong desire to learn
  • Work effectively under conditions of limited supervision, high stress and rapidly changing situations and circumstances
  • Ability to problem solve and handle common problems without supervisor intervention while knowing when supervisor participation is warranted
  • Must be able to exercise initiative, independent good judgment, flexibility, discretion, and solid decision making
  • Ability to respond quickly and effectively to individuals who may be ill, using substances, lack of personal care, in crisis situations and/or potentially hostile situations
  • Ability to take appropriate steps to deal with emergency situations with the goal of maintaining safety of all
  • Ability to work with diverse populations and provide culturally competent advocacy
  • Ability to deescalate aggressive/agitated individuals
  • Actively promote positive, nurturing interactions between participants
  • Must be able to successfully manage multiple priorities, meet deadlines, adjust to changing circumstances, and demonstrate confidence working with diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize strong judgement and interpersonal skills to manage sensitive client interactions including with those who may be in distress with acute illness, substance use issues, co- morbidity of behavioral and physical health issues in addition to homelessness
  • Project a professional demeanor and a high level of professionalism when dealing with sensitive matters
  • 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
  • Strict confidentiality must be observed as it relates to participant information, agency business, program decisions and all other personal information
  • Consider the impact of personal and professional choices. Consistently make decisions in keeping with organizational values and Supervisor’s direction
  • 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
  • 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
  • Strong time management skills and the ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced environment, while exercising sound judgment
  • Use of a personal vehicle may be required to travel in and around Antelope Valley and/or Los Angeles County and periodically transport clients
  • Maintain professional boundaries and work collaboratively with participants, volunteers, and staff
  • Able to work a flexible schedule; including nights, days, weekends, and holidays when needed
  • Able to respond to emergencies some evenings and weekends if necessary
  • 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
  • Age 18 – 24 with Lived Experience
  • Experience with homeless, vulnerable and/or diverse populations
Additional Agency Requirements
  • Must have a valid California Driver’s License
  • Reliable Transportation
  • Auto insurance in good standing
  • Clean Driving Record
  • Employee will be required to complete a TB test, fingerprinting, drug screen (employment pending on drug screen, background, and Motor Vehicle Report review), 72-hour Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault training and CPR/First Aid certification.
Physical Demands & Work Conditions

An employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job must meet physical demands described:

  • May be in contact with individuals in crisis who may be ill, using substances and/or not be attentive to personal hygiene and safety for themselves
  • May experience unpleasant sensory demands associated with an individual’s use of alcohol and drugs, and lack of personal care
  • May experience crises and potentially hostile situations and 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; 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; 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.
  • Health
  • Employee Assistance Plan
  • Paid Sick
  • Dental
  • Paid Vacation
  • Vision
  • Cafeteria 125 Plan
  • Personal Days
  • Acupuncture/Chiropractic
  • Retirement Plan
  • Life Insurance
  • 14 Observed Holidays

Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm (may be required to work other than normal duty hours, to include early morning, evenings, weekends, holidays and/or on call status)
Salary Range:
$20.00 - $24.00 per hour

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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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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