Director Homeless Services

Position Description:

Reporting to the Managing Director (MD), Homelessness Services & Affordable Housing Programs, the Director of Homelessness Services is responsible for:

  • having oversight of the homelessness outreach & support operations and programs, which are part of broader services to people experiencing homelessness;
  • working with key agencies, people with lived experience and others to provide recommendations to address positive impacts for people experiencing or at risk of homeless in the City of Vancouver (COV);
  • advising senior management and Mayor and Council on trends and gaps in the service identified by individuals who are homeless; and
  • acting as the COV media spokesperson on issues, and responses related to homelessness.

This strategic position works in collaboration with the Leadership team within Arts Culture and Community Services (ACCS). The Director of Homelessness Services makes recommendations for services and programs related to homelessness in the City of Vancouver. The Homeless Services Division provides support to residents who are homeless and those at risk of homelessness in their search for access to all social determinants of health, including primarily housing, income and health resources as well as inclusion, safety and belonging for residents typically marginalized by histories of colonization, gender and racial identities, mental and physical health, addiction and poverty; undertakes research and develops policy recommendations in response to demographic trends affecting homelessness particularly through the design of the annual Homeless Count and the implementation of relevant landlord and client surveys as well as researching and assessing solutions found in other localities. The position is responsible for directing the programs and activities of, and managing the staff in, the Homeless Services Division. The Division works closely with other ACCS and City departments to fulfill their mandate including Affordable Housing and Social Operations to connect individuals to housing, social and emergency services in the community.

Specific Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Provides oversight of a citywide homeless outreach team with the capacity and authority to work with people who are homeless to directly connect them to housing and income services.
  • Provides oversight of the COV Warming Centres, COV Winter Shelter Responses and other emergency responses as required, in conjunction with BC Housing, other COV Departments, Coordinates COV response, working with other city departments to find appropriate locations and support operations. The position maintains regular contact with warming centre locations and supports smooth transitions between regular operations and the emergency response.
  • Explore community data gathering initiatives and conducts annual homeless count, manages consultants and liaises/engages with key community stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated skills in conflict resolution, and the ability to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders/partners and various levels of government,
  • Ability to manage operations and multiple projects & programs, set priorities, delegate effectively and meet deadlines.
  • Provides education, training and capacity building on homelessness, and the work that Vancouver is doing, to internal departments, external partners and stakeholders, schools, community and faith based groups and at conferences.
  • Administers the Homeless Action Week grant program for community groups holding Connect and Homeless Action Week events. Collaborates on large COV events related to homelessness such as the COV Homeless Connect events.
  • Represents ACCS on the City’s strategic planning processes and initiatives that relate to or impact homelessness, such as the Urban Health Leaders Action (UHLA) Council (transitioning from Mayor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Addictions) and on Steering Committees which involve or impact homelessness issues.
  • Prepares reports and presents information directly to the GM of ACCS, City Manager, City Council, and Council Committees.
  • Key liaison role in the case of established homeless encampments or other housing emergencies (i.e. fires, relocations) with a focus on the health & safety of effected individuals, and makes recommendations on strategies for outreach and engagement.
  • Responsible for the preparation and management of department budget and staff resources for Homeless Services including negotiation, management and reporting on external funding. (including BC Housing)
  • Provides leadership to and directly manages staff, including ensuring adherence to all City policies & procedures including hiring and termination, financial management, health & safety, discipline, performance and attendance management, coaching, training and development. The Director motivates, engages, and directs staff; provides coaching on a timely basis; develops goals and expectations; and identifies training and development for division staff.
  • Responsible for supporting and implementing the City of Reconciliation and equity strategies into the division’s work, in particular to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people and especially Indigenous women who are homeless.

Education and Experience:

  • A degree in Social Sciences, Business Administration, Policy Development or other related discipline, preferably at the post graduate level.  Additional courses related to budget development, project management, leadership and labour relations are highly desirable.
  • A minimum of 10 years related experience with at least 5 years working in a senior management capacity.  Strong technical skills are required and the ability to lead and manage a diverse group of staff.
  • Extensive experience working with individuals who are experiencing homeless or are at risk of homelessness, and with organizations that provide front line services.
  • Demonstrated cultural competency in working with the Indigenous community and with Indigenous service agencies.

How to apply:

Apply through their job posting.

For more information, visit their website.

Position closes on December 16, 2018.