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Urban League of Portland
  • Portland
  • Begins at $35,880, DOE + current array of benefits

Position Description: Housing Specialist

Hours & Location: 1.0(FTE) 40 hours per week, mostly 8-5 with some evenings and weekends.
East Portland and North Portland offices. Eligible for 10% telecommuting. Local travel required.

Pay Range: begins at $35,880, DOE + current array of benefits

SUPERVISOR: Housing Program Manager

SCOPE: The Housing Specialist has responsibility to provide a wide range of wrap around services and build a rapport with community members who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability. The housing specialist will provide a wide variety of stability services and advocacy for predominantly African American/ Black community members in need of safe, stable housing. The Housing Specialist will work with program participants holistically and will help them access necessary social services, and act as a personal advocate for obtaining permanent housing. Housing Specialist will provide individualized support throughout the entire journey by helping each community member overcome any barriers, assess their supports, and set achievable long and short-term goals for a holistic.

Provide supportive services in a culturally-responsive, non-judgmental manner using a strengths-based framework of assertive engagement.
Coordinate intake and individualized needs assessment for community members. Work with participants to develop short and long term goals that address barriers to obtain services/housing. Some participants will require permanent support in retaining and maintaining housing, and some will need very short term financial assistance, and housing specialist will assess these needs and make decisions on length and depth of service.
Monitor and evaluate each participant’s progression towards their goals, and develop modifications to the plan as necessary.
Provide information, “hands-on” referrals, linkages, and personal advocacy to assist participants in accessing services and resources. Directly assist participants with obtaining necessary documents and services such as identification card, birth certificate, social security income, disability income.
Assist participants with housing applications, completing supportive and subsidized housing paperwork, surveying rental market for affordable housing, and advocating for community members with prospective landlords, property managers, and property owners.
Promote culturally responsive mediation between participants and medical, housing, and social service systems while building individual capacity to self-advocate. Provide holistic, culturally-appropriate and accessible life skills education and information and responsive crisis intervention and prevention for participants.
Work in partnership with Urban League Community Health workers, Employment Specialists, and Community Health navigators, including reporting and intake documentation to complete follow-up and retention services.
Maintain all related data tracking systems, including case notes, stability matrix, and complete HMIS entries. Prepare related reports including outcomes, successes and challenges, including generating data for monthly reports.
Any other duties as assigned.

Minimum of Bachelor Degree in Community Health, Social Work or related field
Minimum of three years of experience in case management, home visiting, or related human services experience, working with and relating to African Americans.
Two years of experience providing services to African American individuals and families experiencing homelessness or those residing in any type of supportive housing.

Must have a car for daily use, in-state insurance with your name on the policy and a valid Oregon state license, active for at least one year with an acceptable driving record.


Commitment to and knowledge of social justice issues and the dynamics of social change, the history and mission of the Urban League of Portland.
Knowledge and understanding of working with low income families and specifically within the African American community, particularly with those experiencing substance abuse disorder, mental illness, or homelessness.
Knowledge of emergency, social, education, domestic violence, health, human services, and information/referral systems.
Demonstrated computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suites with an emphasis on Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook programs. Experience with Apricot case management software and ServicePoint (HMIS) is preferred.
Must have a car for daily use, in-state insurance with your name on the policy and a valid Oregon state license, active for at least one year with an acceptable driving record.
Skill in motivational interviewing, assertive engagement, case conferencing, and coordination of services both by phone and in-person.
Ability to take initiative and prioritize tasks; good time-management, crisis prevention, and problem-solving skills.
Good written and oral communication skills; ability to communicate effectively and project a professional image when giving and taking information in writing, in person, and over the phone.
Ability to listen and develop rapport and relate well with community members.
Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.
Ability to work cooperatively with others and support the goals and mission of the Urban League of Portland.


How to apply: The Urban League is always looking for qualified, committed people, who are interested in building a stronger community. If you would like to be a member of the Urban League of Portland team, Please submit a detailed and compelling letter detailing your suitability for this position and your passion for the mission of the Urban League of Portland. In your cover letter, please specifically address how your experience and education is a match to the requirements of this position. Please also provide the names and contact information of three references and a CV/resume to gro.xdplunull@tnemtiurcer. Please include your first and last name and position title “Housing Specialist 2017” in the subject line. No calls accepted. Position is open until filled, but interested candidates are strongly encouraged to respond quickly.
About the Urban League of Portland: Established in 1945, the Urban League of Portland is one of the oldest African American service, civil rights and advocacy organizations in the region. We are part of a network of over 90 National Urban League Affiliates across the country and are recognized as one of the leading voices for African Americans and others in Oregon and Southwest. The Urban League of Portland’s mission is to empower African Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life. Our programs include a distinctive blend of direct services, organizing, outreach, and advocacy. We offer workforce services, community health services, summer youth programming, senior services, meaningful civic engagement opportunities, and powerful advocacy.

Equal Opportunity Statement: The Urban League of Portland is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified employees and applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability, or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.


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☆ Dont forget to tell your interviewer that you heard about this opportunity from the Urban League of Portland ☆