Organization background: FIA is a small 40+ year 501c3 secular non-profit organization with the mission to provide essential supports to alleviate the effects of hunger and poverty for those in Chelsea, Dexter, and the surrounding communities. We are the largest emergency service provider in western Washtenaw County. FIA is based in Chelsea, Michigan and this new position is part of our increased and permanent presence in Dexter, MI. Programming includes a choice food pantry, and a free clothing and household goods “store” in Chelsea, as well as a nearby 17-unit apartment building for which FIA provides supportive housing services. In Dexter, there is a full-service food pantry plus the upcoming addition of 24 supportive housing apartments, and office space housed on one campus. Supportive housing is a combination of affordable housing paired with services, like case management.
Faith in Action provides food resources to the area in accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies for customers and employees regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Position Information: This person will join our small but mighty FIA staff as of early 2022 and primarily work in the new Dexter office with occasional meetings in Chelsea, and possible social work staff rotation between locations as needed. Our team of 3 social workers will handle intake and assistance by working directly with the public and clients to identify and utilize area resources. As part of the FIA team, and in close partnership with Avalon Housing, this staff person is expected to work cooperatively, as well as take initiative and work independently on projects for the FIA organization, the community, and for the tenants onsite. They will be expected to meet critical deadlines and use a high degree of judgment and discretion in the handling of materials and confidential information. The Social Worker, as a support coordinator, will help people stay in their homes. This position is employed by FIA and reports to the FIA Executive Director. The position is paid monthly for an annual salary of $45,470 based on 40 hrs. per week. A local IRA account can be matched up to 3% by employer, and an annual stipend of $800 is available for health-related reimbursement. Some professional development funds are also available.
- Act as a primary contact, in person or via phone, to tenants, new visitors, and potential clients to determine eligibility for persons seeking assistance, making recommendations where the need is apparent and within program guidelines.
- Act as caseworker and manager of core services of the agency.
- Be responsible for coordinating casework services with regard to all services and programs of the agency, including seasonal programs and the food pantry.
- Coordinate the delivery of services with other area agencies whenever appropriate, maintain good working relationships within the county service provider environment, and represent the agency at various collaborative meetings as scheduled.
- Assist with FIA promotion and represent the agency at various meetings or functions.
- Participate in or lead appropriate evaluation and assessment of the services of the agency and help build a community action plan for furthering the goals of the agency.
- Provide supportive supervision to any social work interns or student employees as needed.
- Provide Supportive Services for clients housed in Hilltop View Apartments in Dexter, MI in partnership with Avalon Housing for the onsite 24-unit apartments including:
- Provide ongoing, active outreach and creative engagement to onsite tenants.
- Conduct comprehensive assessments and help tenants develop action plans to reach goals
- Work with tenants and property management to coordinate eviction prevention efforts and develop housing permanency plans.
- Assist tenants in developing basic life skills, including tenant rights and responsibilities, and maintaining an apartment
- Provide budgeting/financial literacy support
- Negotiate and advocate with external community resources
- Link tenants to employment opportunities and skill development opportunities
- Assist tenants with accessing needed medical, mental health, substance use, and psychosocial supports
- Assist tenants with conflict resolution among tenants and neighbors
- Provide crisis intervention as needed
- Work to build community and peer support among tenants, including participation in community programming activities
- Meet documentation requirements as dictated by program need
- Work with clients in their homes, in community centers, and in the larger community
- Attend staff meetings, retreats, and professional training sessions
- Assist tenants as needed with activities of daily living such as transportation, housekeeping, meal preparation, medication, shopping, laundry, or other hands-on assistance
- Degree in Social Work with post-college experience.
- Experience working with similar populations, including people who are homeless, people with mental illness, chronic health, and/or substance use disorders
Desired Skills and Abilities
- Master’s degree and current licensing in social work or closely related field with at least some relevant experience
- Ability to effectively work with diverse populations in a non-judgmental way
- Capacity to respond to crisis situations
- Strong communication skills – both verbal and written
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Ability to understand and work within an organizational budget for client assistance and daily programming as well as track expenditures within the larger organization
- Ability to give and receive constructive feedback
- Ability to recognize appropriate boundaries with clients
- Proven flexibility and creativity
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Must possess a highly positive and enthusiastic attitude and strong commitment toward helping those in need
- Strong organizational skills
- Capacity to respond to crisis situations
- Interest and experience in working with individuals who are difficult to engage and refer to traditional programs, subscribe to a philosophy of tolerance and ability to engage with individuals in their current stage of change, expressed knowledge, acceptance, and/or experience with principles of harm reduction
- Ability to communicate and work effectively with staff from various backgrounds
- Ability to work flexible hours as required by programs and staffing needs, including occasional evenings and weekends
- Successful candidates will demonstrate the ability to work well with diverse and multicultural communities
- Experience with family support services or affordable supportive housing
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 will be required to sit for long periods, drive a vehicle with passengers, communicate with other persons by talking and hearing, be required to lift and carry items weighing up to 25 pounds, and operate computer hardware and software systems.
COVID-19 Information: Faith in Action closely maintains all up-to-date recommendations of COVID-19 spread prevention and mitigation efforts and resources to support masking, distancing, testing, & vaccination requirements. Employees and building visitors must be vaccinated at this time.