Housing Specialist, East Williamsburg

Organization Description:

Project Renewal is a non-profit organization with the mission of ending homelessness by empowering men and women struggling with addiction and/or mental illness to rebuild their lives with renewed health, homes, and jobs.

Program Description:

The East Williamsburg Shelter is an emergency men’s shelter which helps 140 individuals with substance abuse histories work towards health, sobriety, and, ultimately, permanent housing and employment.  In addition to lodging and three meals a day, clients receive comprehensive case management services, plus an array of substance abuse related and health care services provided by different programs; such as Medically Supervised Outpatient Withdrawal Services (MSOWS); Chemical Dependency Crisis Service (CDCS), and Outpatient Recovery Center available to them throughout the agency.

Title:                Housing Specialist

Program:        East Williamsburg Men’s Shelter

Overall Responsibilities:

Under the direction of the Shelter Director, with some latitude for independent action and decision making, the Housing Specialist is responsible for identifying housing options for the clients, especially the long term stayers, and assisting the clients in preparing and submitting applications, so permanent housing can be obtained, the lengths of stay in the shelter can be reduced, and the clients can obtain independence and return to their communities; performs related work. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The essential duties of the Housing Specialist include but are not limited to the following activities:

  • Utilizing vacancy rosters provided by the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) and other housing providers, identifies vacancies throughout the five boroughs and selects possible housing options to which clients can apply for placement.

  • Reviews, in collaboration with the Case Managers, the application package for each client to be sure documents are complete and the psychological evaluation is current, assists the client in submitting the application to the housing provider, and performs appropriate follow-up on submitted application.

  • Reviews the Overnight Report daily to become aware of new clients to be scheduled for orientation and to know if any clients have missed curfew and possibly a scheduled appointment for housing placement. Performs appropriate follow-up in either situation.

  • Conducts weekly individualized and group meetings for clients, focusing on housing placement issues and guiding them through the housing application process.

  • Visits housing providers’ facilities to develop and maintain a positive working relationship with them and to get as much information as possible for the clients applying for placement.

  • Prepares clients for housing interviews, conducting mock interviews sessions, accompanies them on tours of facilities, and in general coordinates and facilitates the referral process. 

  • Coordinates escort services for groups of clients going for housing placement interviews.

  • Reviews and updates the tracking system for submitted applications, interviews, and selections or denials.  Performs follow-up to any denial of housing applications submitted to providers.

  • Conducts weekly on-site housing workshops.

  • Maintains and participates in the weekly Plan for Permanency (PFP) case management conferences.

Education Requirements:

A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, but a Master’s degree in Social Work is preferred.

Experience Requirements:

A minimum of three (3) years of progressively responsible experience working with homeless adults with substance and illicit drug abuse issues with objectives toward securing permanent housing for them.

Preferred skills:

Housing Options:            Knowledge of low income housing in New York City as well as special needs housing, including the NY/NY Supportive Housing and Section 8 housing.

Communication:               Excellent oral, writing, and listening skills.

Organizational:                 The ability to work independently and initiate corrective actions to help clients seeking                                                                                 permanent housing.

Interpersonal:                   The ability to interface with clients as well as all levels of staff.   

Computer:                          Knowledge of case management software as well as a proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite,                                                        especially Word and EXCEL.


To apply: e-mail resume with cover letter indicating position and salary requirements to: careers@projectrenewal.org  EOE.