Housing Specialist

ProgramHousing Innovations
Classification: Exempt
Reports to: Program Supervisor
FTE: 1.0

Position Summary

This position provides transition and housing sustaining services for low income adults with a serious mental illness in Hennepin county.  The position’s primary duties include helping people to find housing opportunities, and help them keep or sustain their current housing, and provide referrals for other services to a caseload of up to 25 clients. The position will assist program participants find and maintain housing, including assisting with applications, and moving arrangements as needed, and then continue tenancy sustaining services on an ongoing basis.

Essential Job Functions


  • Maintain the vision, mission and values of Touchstone Mental Health (TMH).
  • Remain up-to-date regarding the various programs of TMH.
  • Remain up-to-date regarding agency policies and procedures and perform all functions in accordance with TMH policies and procedures.
  • Provide the highest quality of customer service consistent with TMH’s values and standards.

Supportive & Motivational Client Relations

  • Develop and utilize tenancy support tools and handouts, identify and intervene on client behaviors which may jeopardize their housing, provide education on tenant rights, responsibilities and other information on how to be a successful tenant.
  • Provide coaching to clients on how to develop and maintain relationships with landlords, property managers and neighbors.
  • Provide advocacy and referrals for clients for mental health or other social services, assist with the housing recertification process, review, and update and change housing crisis plan and housing support plan.
  • Provide companionship, emotional support and social stimulation to client to establish supportive and motivational relationships while ensuring an atmosphere of safety, security and responsible care for the client.
  • Work within the community and among constituents to help create comprehensive relationships that align one’s own and the organizations priorities with the needs and values of the broader community.
  • Utilize the formal and informal decision making structures within the organization and in the field to achieve goals.
  • Provide training, demonstration, observation and completion of the task for the client, as appropriate to individual clients. Review and understand clients’ level of functioning and primary vulnerabilities. Make accommodations as needed to assure client and staff safety.
  • Complete documentation for each significant interaction with each client, according to program policy and applicable standard of care. Participate in charting in the client/staff/medical logs.
  • May develop housing support plans with clients, identify site-based partner housing options, conduct housing search and application process with clients, develop housing support crisis plan and assist with arranging for moving into housing.

Program Team Member

  • Develop and demonstrate a set standard of personal expectations for excellence in quality and quantity of work.
  • Participate in team meetings and foster communication regarding clients and facility.
  • Follow established program and agency protocols, policies and procedures. Provide team with thorough, timely, legible, accurate and objective information. Provide input in client care plans. Collaborate with staff regarding client goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrate the ability to build relationships and work cooperatively with others, be part of a team, express positive attitudes and expectations of others, build team commitment by promoting good working relationships regardless of personal likes or dislikes, and sustain professional contacts for the purposes of networking within the team and the field.
  • Maintain an underlying curiosity and desire to know more about things, people or issues, including the desire for knowledge and staying current with health, organizational, industry and professional trends and developments.
  • Utilize best practices in facilitation, conflict resolution, and meeting management when conducting productive and goal-oriented group interactions.
  • Provide regular communication regarding clients’ progress, issues and significant events to team, as needed.
  • Participate in creating an overall positive community atmosphere for all staff and clients.
  • Complete all required training upon hire, and annually.

Other Duties

  • As assigned.

Physical Requirements

The work of this position entails the use of standard office equipment. The work of this position requires that the incumbent be able to see, hear, speak, read and write English clearly in order to ensure client welfare and development. This position requires the ability to drive an automobile on a daily basis. This position will also be approved to use agency vehicles. The incumbent must be able to reach, use fingers and drive up to 2/3 of the hours worked; climb stairs, stoop, kneel, crouch, stand, walk, remain in a static position, push, pull, lift, use fingers, grasp, feel, perform repetitive motions, and carry up to 1/3 of the hours worked. The incumbent must also be able to lift up to 10 lbs from the waist, knee or floor and occasionally 25 lbs from the waist.


Education and Experience

  • Experience working with individuals experiencing housing instability or homelessness strongly desired
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, a combination of education and/or experience, or certification as a peer specialist required
  • Experience working with adults with mental illness and/ or chemical dependency preferred
  • Knowledge of housing options, community organizations and community systems preferred

Other Requirements

  • Ability to maintain a clean driving record, a current driver’s license, and auto insurance coverage meeting Touchstone Mental Health policy limits.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to intervene appropriately in crisis prevention and de-escalation when necessary.
  • Commitment to understanding others by genuinely seeking to know people as individuals, understand different points of view by gaining the insights of others, and cultivate cross-cultural sensitivity.
  • Demonstrated ethics, sound professional practice, social accountability and community stewardship. Ability to act openly and honestly and promote organizational integrity.
  • Ability to act confidently within one’s role and own abilities and to take on challenging assignments.
  • Awareness of one’s own strengths and development needs, and ability to seek feedback routinely on performance.
  • Ability to understand a situation by breaking it into smaller pieces, identifying barriers or obstacles to address current or future problems or opportunities.
  • Ability to effectively plan and strategize when putting forth an opinion or suggested action for the use of persuading, convincing, and influencing as the needs and interests of others are assessed and analyzed.
  • Ability to incorporate facts and use critical thinking skills to analyze data and present logical and concise recommendations in oral or written form.
  • Ability to speak and write in a clear, logical and grammatical manner in formal and informal situations.
  • Ability to be flexible in meeting scheduling needs. Ability to work on agency holidays, as required.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of client information and appropriate boundaries.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office suite, particularly Microsoft Outlook.

To apply to this position, click here and fill out the online form.


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