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Now Hiring Housing Counselor/Advocate

This is a job listing for YWCA Hanover Safe Home

YWCA Safe Home is a program that serves victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking and aims to empower program participants to achieve their self-defined goals. The Housing Counselor/Advocate works directly with clients who are in a state of housing instability because of their victimization. Duties include, but are not limited to, safety planning, an improved sense of self-worth, self-sufficiency, and permanent housing in a safe, stable environment. The Housing Counselor/Advocate is required to meet regularly (no less than monthly) with the program participants to monitor, advocate, and intervene on the formalized service plan. The Housing Counselor/Advocate works collaboratively with Safe Home staff and must be able to contribute and work well in a group setting. The Housing Counselor/Advocate is a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse as defined by PA Child Protective Services Law.


  1. Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Human Services, or a related field and/or equivalent experience.  A combination of education and experience may be considered.
  2. Must have knowledge of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other serious crimes and their impact on victims. 
  3. Must pass criminal background check(s).
  4. Must have valid Driver’s License and have access to reliable transportation.
  5. Must travel in inclement weather, as needed.
  6. Must observes safety and security procedures.
  7. May require evening and weekend hours/travel for client services.
  8. May be required to report to work in either Safe Home’s Hanover or Gettysburg office.
  9. Must be well organized and adaptable to changes in daily schedules and the work environment.
  10. Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office products, including Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  11. Must attend all program mandated professional development events, including meeting all continuing education requirements.
  12. Must have demonstrated ability to counsel individuals in crisis. 
  13. Must be familiar with community resources and knowledgeable about options available to victims and survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
  14. Successful completion of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) training as well as training specific to Rapid Rehousing Program Model, upon hire.
  15. Must have demonstrated ability to counsel and communicate in a tactful and appropriate manner with traumatized individuals.
  16. Must have demonstrated ability to work in a professional, respectful, and diverse workplace environment.
  17. Must maintain professional working relationships with people of differing backgrounds, ages, maturity, abilities, races, colors, creeds, genders, ancestry, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, and experiences.
  18. Must be able to show respect and sensitivity for cultural differences.  Treats people with respect; works with integrity and ethically; upholds organizational values.
  19. Must be an effective written and verbal communicator, and able to draft documents in a clear and concise manner free of grammatical or other mistakes.
  20. Requires ability to maintain confidentiality, and to make appropriate decisions in crisis situations.
  21. Must be able to keep necessary documentation, both written and computerized as required case notes, safety/goal plans, referrals, time entry, mileage, and expenses.


  1. Intervene at the client level to provide or coordinate the delivery of direct services to participants and their families.
  2. Screen participants during the intake process to ensure they meet eligibility requirements and will benefit from services provided in the program. 
  3. Conduct a face-to-face assessment and understand the client as a whole person and understand the connection between physical, environmental, behavioral, social, and economic factors. 
  4. Support the development of an individual plan collaboratively with participant that includes appropriate goals, objectives, and timeframes. 
  5. Implement the service plan by working collaboratively with participant and other social service agencies as appropriate. 
  6. Provide intensive case management services to assist program participants in reaching goals outlined in service plan.
  7. Conduct inspections of participants’ prospective housing to ensure it meets the minimum requirements outlined by HUD. 
  8. Advocate for resources to meet the need for services and ensure that services are delivered while maintaining sensitivity to participant’s concerns.
  9. Help participants prepare to exit the program by planning with other service providers as appropriate and help provide follow-up services as needed.
  10. Complete follow-up contact with previous program participants. 
  11. Develop and maintain a thorough understanding of Protection from Abuse (PFAs) orders and enforcement of such, including providing support, accompaniment, and advocacy through the court system.
  12. Intervene at systems level to support existing services and to expand and improve access to needed services. 
  13. Maintain knowledge of resource availability and service costs. 
  14. Identify gaps in service or systems within or outside of the agency with the support of the Case Manager. 
  15. Professionally conduct services, ensuring strict confidentiality of participants.
  16. Attend all events, meetings, committees/task force meetings, and community events as deemed appropriate by Supervisors, Assistant Director, Program Director, and/or Executive Director.
  17. Responsibly and timely complete check/petty cash requests after verifying eligibility, manages check disbursements, and securely distributes program funds.
  18. Seek feedback from colleagues and supervisor when it is in the best interest of the client.
  19. Responsible for maintaining accurate and complete records of hotline calls, in person options counseling, legal proceedings, referrals, emergency housing, transportation, meetings, training sessions, and speaking engagements.
  20. Complete and maintain required documentation, both in Efforts to Outcome (ETO) software and paper files.

Starting rate of pay is $16/hour.

To apply: Please email a current resume and cover letter to either Jamie Bonser, Assistant Director, at and/or Sarah Harvey, Supervising Advocate, at

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