Housing Case Manager

Salary: $37,000

In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and housing. Since 1989, Inspiration Corporation has assisted thousands of individuals and families affected by homelessness, extreme poverty and recent incarceration each year – serving as a catalyst for self-reliance.

Inspiration Corporation programs are voluntary, and all service needs and goals are participant- driven. Our case management philosophy is strengths-based and trauma-informed. Inspiration Corporation practices harm reduction and focuses on reducing or minimizing the harm associated with high-risk behavior through motivational interviewing.

At Inspiration Corporation, employees live this mission by demonstrating the following core values. Inspiration Corporation believes that these core values are what make the organization one of Chicago’s leading facilitators of personal transformation, and a great place to work:

  1. Communicate honestly
  2. Act with compassion
  3. Pursue growth and learning
  4. Be humble
  5. Take care of ourselves so we can help others
  6. Work greater together
  7. Create a fun and productive environment

 

Position Summary

Housing Case Managers support individuals and families in meeting their goals by assisting them in obtaining and maintaining housing.

Housing Case Managers will be assigned to serve  any/or all of the following populations based on program need:individuals, families, domestic violence survivors, victims of dating violence and stalking, individuals with serious mental illness, substance use disorders, chronic health conditions, physical and mental illness and impairment, criminal justice-involvement, DCFS involvement etc.

Housing Case Managers could be assigned to work program model types based on program need, including: Permanent Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing, Transitional Housing, Rapid Re-Housing etc.

Inspiration Corporation’s Housing Services department follows a Harm Reduction and Housing First perspective. Services are trauma-informed, participant-centered, and strengths-based.

General

  • Demonstrate Inspiration Corporation’s Core Values.
  • Exhibit professionalism and high standards in all aspects of performance.
  • Ensure the efficient and effective provision of housing services with dignity and respect in accordance with the agency’s mission.
  • Work with all departments as appropriate to ensure that the needs of the agency’s participants are addressed.
  • Participate in department and agency meetings and professional development.
  • Work both independently and on a team.
  • Travel throughout the City of Chicago to provide case management services.

 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Housing Services

  • Ensure that all established program goals are met or exceeded. This includes, maintaining regular monthly contact with all assigned participants and their landlords, supporting program participants as needed to ensure they do not return to homelessness, and meeting and/or exceeding programmatic goals  defined internally and by funders.
  • Assess new referrals’ eligibility for services and enroll eligible participants into programs in a timely fashion.
  • Find apartments for participants when needed, conduct inspections, establish and maintain relationships with landlords or property managers, and facilitate execution and renewal of leases. Advocate on behalf of participants to promote housing quality and stability.
  • Assist participants with moving and obtaining furniture, home supplies, and other needs

Case Management

  • Assess participants’ potential barriers to maintaining stable housing. Provide them with coaching, support and referrals to improve housing retention, stability, quality of life and self-sufficiency (e.g. providing support with: budgeting life skills, tenancy skills, communication skills etc.)
  • Facilitate an introduction between participants and Employment Navigator to explore employment and training interests and opportunities.
  • Work with assigned participants to assist in the creation of goal-based action plans and revise them when necessary.
  • Provide coaching, case management and other support to make progress on their goal-based action plans including working with partners and children. Maintain regular contact, including visits to participants’ apartments.
  • Provide resources, referrals and follow-up for household members to meet families’ comprehensive needs and advocate on behalf of participants to ensure they receive needed services.
  • Identify strategies to address any short-term or chronic issues, such as substance use or mental illness, which might compromise achievement of goals and trigger relapse into homelessness.
  • Ensure that all school-age children are enrolled in school by obtaining necessary documentation and that children under 5 have appropriate developmental assessments.
  • Maintain case notes on participants’ progress and complete all required tracking and reports in a timely manner.
  • Work with housing staff to organize and facilitate tenant surveys, obtain tenant feedback and facilitate tenant meetings as needed.

Program Support

  • Maintain appropriate data collection and reporting as required for internal management reports, external funding sources, and regulatory agencies.
  • Prepare for and participate in program audits.
  • Prepare monthly requests for payment of rent and utility bills, and track collection of tenant rent, working with Finance Department. Follow up on rent-arrears and ensure participants are abiding by terms of payment plan.
  • Provide suggestions to senior staff to develop new or modify existing services, policies and protocols to meet the needs of program participants in alignment with the agency’s strategic directions.
  • Contribute to the development and evaluation of the housing program.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE & SKILLS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The following requirements are representative of the education, experience and skills necessary for the position.

Access to a personal vehicle to be used regularly for home visits and meetings and valid driver’s license and insurance required. Some positions may not require access to a vehicle full-time. Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent life experience required; graduate-level studies preferred. Degrees in Social Work or related field preferred. Two years’ work experience in case management in a non-profit setting with homeless or impoverished populations preferred and/or significant life experience preferred. Proficiency in Windows operating environments, Microsoft Office required. Experience with electronic record-keeping preferred.  Familiarity with the Chicago Continuum of Care, HUD and municipal and state housing laws preferred.

Ability to work independently and think critically required. Active listening and the ability to communicate professionally both verbally and in writing.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to walk. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk up and down steps, and drive throughout the city of Chicago. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10-20 pounds. Must be approved to drive agency vehicles. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Main office location: 4554 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640. Visits participants in their apartments, located throughout the City of Chicago. Maintains standard office hours. Attends evening, weekend, and early morning meetings and functions as required.

 TO APPLY:

Email resume & cover letter to: nphillips@inspirationcorp.org. Please include “Housing Case Manager” in the subject line of your email.

Inspiration Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.