Housing Innovation Specialist

Valley Youth House empowers and strengthens the lives of children, youth and families through inclusive programming that builds resilience and fosters growth and independence.

We are currently looking for a qualified applicant to fill the following position: FT - Housing Innovation Specialist- ($19hr - $21hr)

Job Description: The Housing Innovation Specialist will work closely and collaboratively with Lehigh County and Pinebrook Family Answers. The HIS is responsible for supporting families through consultation to find housing, identify barriers and opportunities, and educate the provider and other community stakeholders on housing resources with the goal of eliminating the need for youth to enter or remain in foster care due to lack of appropriate housing. This includes client contact and planning, resource identification, documentation and data collection and community education. The Housing Innovation Specialist is under the authority of the Senior Vice-President and reports to their supervisor while collaboratively working with the Program Coordinator.

Critical Functions
  1. Document work in the database in line with agency time frames, protocols and procedures 
  2. Equitably distribute funds to support families in maintaining housing and finding housing documenting the distribution of the funds as required. 
  3. Represent the program and agency in a professional manner and maintain positive community relationships.
  4. Provide community education and information to stakeholders and Lehigh County caseworkers
  5. Clear and effective communication with the clients, case manager, and other community referral sources.
  6. Participate in weekly scheduled supervision with the coordinator/supervisor and be prepared with an agenda.
  7. Participate in statewide meetings to discuss best practices and challenges.
Essential Functions:
  1. Collaborate and provide successful team work with the SHIFT team (LCOCYS and Pinebrook Family Answers) in implementing the SHIFT program.
  2. Successfully engage clients through direct service to identify options, implement plans which eliminate housing as a barrier or to stabilize a current housing situation.
  3. Successfully engage community providers and Lehigh County Caseworkers to work in a consultative role to identify options to eliminate housing as a barrier or to stabilize housing for the identified families. 
  4. The HIS will provide specialized knowledge on housing resources and opportunities to the provider community and to clients. Marketing and providing information sessions.
  5. The HIS will prevent placement, support reunification and reduce length of stay for children in out of home placement where housing is the primary need.
Other Duties:
  1. Understand and adhere to Valley Youth House policies, practices and procedures.
  2. Build genuine relationships that support families, ensure safe places, and help youth achieve their desired futures.
  3. To attend and actively participate in team meetings.
  4. To attend both external and internal agency trainings and workshops and complete and pass all required trainings as set forth in the funder and licensing regulations as required.
  5. Timely and accurate completion of personnel materials (ie. time sheets, mileage reimbursement, etc.)
  6. To complete other related tasks as appropriate or assigned.
  1. An individual 21 years or older with the ability to identify with and adapt to the goals and philosophies of positive youth development and trauma-informed care.
  2. Possess sound judgment
  3. Display organizational skills and be highly adept at managing multiple tasks and assignments.
  4. Successful team members are creative thinkers, flexible in their approaches to people and projects, and are capable of working with diverse groups of the population.
  5. Must have and maintain a valid driver's license and ability to operate agency vehicles. 
  6. Ability to navigate stairs is highly preferred (as some locations are not always handicap friendly).
  7. Proficient in computer knowledge & skills (i.e. Microsoft Windows software); familiarity with the operations of external databases and Google Suite is desired.
  8. Never have been convicted of any prohibited criminal or child abuse offense.
  9. Bi-lingual Spanish/English is preferred.
  10. Minimum of one-year experience preferred, knowledge of the Child Welfare or Housing System preferred. 
  11. Bachelor's degree in human services OR an equivalent combination of experience (in the field) with higher education, or lived experience is preferred.

This agency is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Valley Youth House provides all applicants for employment and all employees with equal opportunity for employment and promotion without regard to age, gender, race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, disability, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by state or federal law. This nondiscrimination policy extends to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment as well as the use of all VYH facilities, participation in VYH sponsored activities and all employment actions such as hiring, job assignments, promotions, compensation, benefits and termination of employment.