Community Liaison Worker

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YWCA Toronto transforms lives. As the city’s largest multi-service women’s organization, we help women escape violence, move out of poverty and access safe, affordable housing. We work tenaciously to break down barriers that hold women back from achieving equality.

Internal and External Job Posting
Community Liaison Worker
YWCA Davenport
JOB ID: WHS0214

The YWCA Davenport provides up to 80 emergency shelter beds to young women (16 – 24 years of age) and adult women (25 and older). The shelter is staffed 24 hours a day and the staff works a fixed schedule that may include weekday and/or weekend work and will be responsible for supporting the shelter and shelter residents. This pet friendly shelter is funded by the City of Toronto and adheres to Toronto Shelter Standards.

The Community Liaison Worker works within a collaborative team to provide meaningful and relevant services within a feminist framework that includes a working knowledge of the dynamics and effects of trauma and oppression. She acts as a resource to staff and clients and is responsible for providing a full range of services which includes building and strengthening community relationships, supporting front line shelter staff and developing, facilitating and evaluating shelter groups and workshops.

Reporting to the Manager of YWCA Davenport, the Community Liaison Worker’s responsibilities include:

  • Through community engagement, promotes inclusion, participation and creativity, and builds a safe community where well-being and shared values are evident by providing connection within the shelter and in the outside community;
  • Promotes positive participant interactions and relationships by providing opportunities for collaborative activities within the shelter and out in the community;
  • Collaborates with the Shelter Support staff to develop and coordinate programs and special events for shelter participants;
  • Facilitates monthly resident shelter meetings and supports in the resolution of emerging needs, concerns that are identified in a co-operative living environment;
  • Liaises with outside community members to investigate and resolve any complaints and concerns that may arise in consultation with the Manager;
  • Builds and nurtures partnerships with outside agencies and services with the intention to gather and expand participant and staff access to resources and programming that reduce participant isolation and diversifies connections to available services in the community;
  • Attends community and coalition meetings, as well as speaking engagements on behalf of the shelter to build and strength relationships;
  • Supports the shelter staff and residents by working onsite at YWCA Davenport on Mondays (weekly) and stepping in to support front line staff or work front line shifts/front desk shifts on an as needed/emergency basis;
  • Engages with residents and provides daily support services based on identified needs and assessment (e.g. providing tokens, personal hygiene items and toiletries, first aid, use of phone, laundry room access, etc.);
  • Completes regular and timely case notes in resident paper files and on SMIS;
  • Communicates health and safety concerns, as well as decisions and assessments that can impact the team through email and communication log to ensure all staff are aware and can respond consistently to decisions made;
  • Approaches conflict and crisis management from a trauma-informed, client-centered and harm reduction lens;  
  • Uses mediation and counselling skills to maintain a co-operative, supportive and productive house environment;
  • Negotiates supportive and flexible strategies to assist participants with mental health issues to access the support within the shelter and in the community.

You will have:

  • In-depth knowledge of an academic discipline normally acquired through completion of a supervised undergraduate degree (e.g. BSW);
  • An analytical framework that identifies clients' relation to social systems and the demonstrated practical application of this framework;
  • Completion of workshops and courses pertaining to overdose awareness, mental illness, trauma, harm reduction, crisis de-escalation and anti-oppressive practice;
  • 1 to 3 years’ experience in counselling and group work focused on clients at risk and/or homeless women;
  • Completion of Toronto Hostel’s Training Certificate (T.H.T.C.) or equivalent;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of harm reduction principles and practice;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of community resources and supports focused on mental health and group support;
  • In-depth knowledge of the dynamics of violence against women and trauma within an anti-oppression framework;
  • Demonstrated experience in the development, delivery and evaluation of workshops and groups;
  • Experience delivering culturally sensitive services in a multicultural environment;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, e-mail and the Internet;
  • Knowledge and understanding of mental health, substance use/addictions, advocacy, refugee and immigration issues and homelessness;
  • Life Skills Certificate an asset;
  • A certificate in trauma counselling would be an asset;
  • Knowledge of a second language and/or culture would be an asset.

Core Competencies:  The employee is expected to:

  • Engage in a self-reflective and collaborative practice that is non-judgmental and compassionate and reflects the mission of YWCA Toronto
  • Incorporate principles of anti-oppression and equity in responding to the service needs of women and children and work toward removing systemic barriers to independence and wellbeing
  • Demonstrate respect, consideration and acceptance of the opinions of others while expressing her own expertise and effectively utilizing relevant resources and specialists
  • Consistently collaborate with team members, sharing ideas and differences openly
  • Be receptive to new ideas and adapt to change as necessary;
  • Take action to avoid or solve problems and create opportunities for positive change
  • Demonstrate commitment to ongoing personal and professional development.

The hours of work for this position are 35 hours per week (Sunday to Thursday, 11am to 7pm; maybe required to work shifts outside of the regularly scheduled hours; shares on-call duties). The incumbent will work in an open shelter/work environment without a dedicated office space. The salary for this position is $50,158 per annum (Level 6), plus comprehensive benefits.  

Please note: A police reference check is required by the successful candidate prior to hiring.  YWCA is a unionized workplace; Staff are represented by CUPE Local 2189. This position is within the Bargaining Unit. Please indicate on your cover letter, if you are an internal candidate.  For internal applicants, this position is secondable.

Submit your cover letter and résumé to: Ashley Brown, Manager of YWCA Davenport.  YWCA Toronto, 348 Davenport Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5K 1K6          EMAIL:  davenportjobs@ywcatoronto.org

Internal Deadline: Tuesday, April 23, 2019                                 External Deadline: Thursday, April 25, 2019

Please quote JOB ID number WHS0214 and your name in the subject line.

YWCA Toronto promotes the principles of anti-oppression and adheres to the tenets of the Ontario Human Rights Code. We encourage applications from women of all races, ethnic origins, religions, abilities and sexual orientations. YWCA Toronto provides accommodation during all parts of the hiring process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. If contacted, please advise us if you require any accommodation. 

While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone enquiries please. 

YWCA Toronto is a Scent-Sensitive environment.