(Relying on Provisions of Section 23 of the Ontario Human Rights Code)
Start Date: Immediately - March 31, 2023
Position reports to: Shelter Director - Oshki Kizis Lodge
Location: Oshki Kizis Lodge 2323 St. Laurent Blvd. Ottawa, Ontario
Work Conditions: Moderate - High-Risk Environment
The General Housing Navigator (GHN) advocates and supports Indigenous community ages 16 years of age or older, who are/or at imminent risk of homelessness throughout the province. Priority is given to Indigenous people who are at a greater risk of losing their children to the child welfare system and/or who are at a greater risk of becoming in conflict with the law because of their homelessness.
The Nihdawin Program which is funded through the Ontario Native Women’s Association assists and supports Indigenous people in these circumstances. The General Housing Navigator provides advocacy and support in the areas of housing, maintaining existing housing and finding affordable sustainable housing for Indigenous people. The worker will act as an advocate with Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, the court system, schools, landlords and medical services. Nihdawin recognizes the importance of providing wraparound supports and services to attend to the needs of Indigenous people as they strive for personal recovery, to maintain their families and live their best lives.
- To address the needs of Indigenous individuals that are homeless or at imminent risk of being homeless, hidden homeless, newly homeless and those episodically accessing shelters using a holistic approach.
- To provide support and referrals to legal/financial services for Indigenous people in conflict with the law.
- To increase support and specialized services to those at risk of intervention from Children Aide Society due to the risk of homelessness.
- Strong advocacy skills to act on behalf of the Community Member and provide guidance to empower them to represent themselves when interacting with potential landlords.
- Establish and build relationships with existing and potential landlords within the city as part of the Housing First Approach.
- Transport Community Members or arrange transportation for Community Members as required for a variety of reasons as it relates to supporting our Community Members.
- Provide up to date housing lists and accompany Community Members to viewings.
- Educate self on changes to OW/ODSP benefits and programs to assist with start-up costs and utility entitlements.
- Provide referrals in the community to assist with clothing, food supports and additional programming that will benefit the Community Member in attaining goals set out in their plan of care.
- Greater access to support networks appropriate to stabilizing the living environments of the individual (ie: connection to employment/education services, access to crisis/addiction/mental health/housing/culturally specific supports, referrals to the necessary services; to help them move towards stabilized living environments.
- To provide Community Members with the opportunity to participate in culturally relevant, safe programming and activities, including but not limited to ceremony, Elders consults, traditional crafts, use of medicines, etc.
- Assist, and support plans encompassing Indigenous culture and teachings while setting measurable and realistic goals.
- Post-secondary diploma in Social work, Indigenous learning, Women’s Studies or a minimum of two (2) years’ work experience in community service delivery.
- Knowledge of housing systems.
- Proven experience working with client’ issues surrounding housing and homelessness, poverty, and addictions.
- Proven experience navigating mental health, addiction, and housing systems on behalf of community members.
- Strong communicator - excellent written, oral, and facilitation skills.
- Experience in advocacy when providing services to Indigenous families and/or communities.
- Proven analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to create and maintain a confidential, welcoming, friendly, and safe environment for community members.
- Good knowledge of other service agencies, ability to network and create/maintain these relationships.
- Strong organizational/time management skills with an ability to plan to define measurable objectives and outcomes and meet objectives in a timely manner.
- Must be dependable, able to follow instructions, respond to management direction and be able to improve performance through management feedback.
- Working knowledge of MS Office Software, internet, and general office equipment
- First Nations, Inuit or Métis preferably
- Current Criminal Records Check
- CPR/First Aid Certification (or willing to train)
- Own vehicle an asset
- Must have a clean driving record (Insurance Liability requirements)
- Some evening and weekend work may be required
- Ability/willingness to work flexible hours.
Applicants are asked to submit a resume and cover letter with 3 references to Kate Holden, Minwaashin Lodge, 2323 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4J8 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Preference in hiring will be given to qualified First Nations, Métis or Inuit candidates. The successful candidate must be able to obtain a police records check with results acceptable to Minwaashin Lodge as a mandatory condition of employment.