Housing First Worker

Position Type

Full-time position for the term of April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019; 40 hours per week.

Reports To

Building Manager


The Housing First Worker is a solution-focused professional that helps formerly homeless persons with complex and frequently co-occurring issues access and maintain housing. Each Housing First Worker supports no more than 20 individuals at any one time, at different stages of housing stability. Interaction with each individual must occur weekly; the intensity and duration of which will be established by her/his state of housing stability. The Housing First Worker reports to a Team Leader that oversees fidelity to the Housing First practice and provides supervision and oversight to the program operations.

Housing First Case Management is defined as:

A structured and active professional care structure that facilitates access to resources to improve housing and life stability through brokering and advocacy for services, based upon an assessment of needs. The case management services are intended to provide the direct, hands-on assistance that service users require to achieve greater independence in their life, as case managers work with service users on their journey. Case management services are provided in the natural settings of the people supported – from streets and shelters through to people’s homes. Case managers are accountable to end users of services, peers and the community. The case managers ethically perform duties in accordance with the main currents of thought and practice in housing-based supports and in accordance with professional standards.

Core Competencies    

  • Adaptability and Flexibility
  • Accountability and Dependability
  • Client Service Orientation
  • Collaboration and Network Building
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Organizational and planning skills
  • Time Management
  • Team Work
  • Self-Motivation and Drive
  • Strong Interpersonal Skills
  • Written and Verbal Communication

Job Duties

Using a multi-disciplinary skill set, the Housing First Worker must be able to exercise the following skills:

  • Locate and access housing based upon service participant preferences as well as affordability and appropriateness, assisting the service participant in signing the lease, and providing direct assistance in helping the service participant move into the apartment with furnishings and basic needs in place;
  • Safely accompany service participants to appointments in community and regularly conduct home visits;
  • Broker and advocate for service access amongst mainstream services including but not limited to: health, mental health and addiction services; income supports; socio-recreational activities; services to persons with development delays and/or cognitive functioning issues; cultural, spiritual and/or religious services;
  • Conduct acuity assessments using the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) regarding areas where housing instability is most likely, and support the individual in reducing the incidence of housing instability;
  • Create person-centred case plans with tangible goals related to housing stability, timeliness, and explicit accountabilities;
  • Organize case conferences with other professionals in the community with the service participant;
  • Establish crisis plans and risk assessment plans with each individual being supported in housing, and cater housing supports relative to the information gleaned from these plans
  • Engage in motivational interviewing and active listening;
  • Use a range of engagement and change motivation techniques with persons that may miss appointments or withdraw during engagement;
  • Prepare complete documentation and case notes within 24 hours of engagement with each service participant;
  • Prepare and participate in weekly case reviews;
  • Organize and promote a range of meaningful daily activities for service participants to engage within, especially as it relates to accessing mainstream services;
  • Interact effectively and professionally on tenancy matters with the landlords of the service participants if they are required to move, while maintaining services and supports during the interim period;
  • Teach and model skills and strategies for increased independence including but not limited to: setting up appointments; attending appointments; budgeting and money management; payment of rent; shopping; food preparation; cleaning; laundry; using the transportation system; engaging with other professionals. This should be performed using a range of adult learning strategic vice participants.

The Housing First Worker must be able to fulfill their duties in accordance with the service orientation of a Housing First approach, including:

  • Housing as the first essential step, without any requirements for sobriety, participation in treatment, medication protocol, compliance, or demonstrated “housing readiness”;
  • Recovery orientation related to mental wellness and cognitive functioning;
  • Reducing harm to the individual and broader community;
  • Remaining non-judgmental in behaviours, practices, beliefs, and actions of service participants;
  • Promoting and empowering meaningful choices and service access options, as well as allowing the service participant to influence the type, duration, frequency and intensity of supports;
  • Absence of coercion, tricks, or contracting;
  • Supporting greater independence over time;
  • Professional relationship without dependency that supports “doing with” instead of “doing for”;
  • Expressing empathy and positivity;
  • Remaining future oriented, not anchored to past events, with a strong sense of promoting hope and possibility in a realistic manner;
  • Transparency and disclosure of information with the service participant using full informed consent;
  • Balancing the needs of the client, community, and landlord in each situation;
  • The right to refuse or revoke services and/or seek restitution or grieve instances where they feel services are inappropriate or inadequate


  • Preference given to candidates that have completed a Master’s degree in social service or health discipline, or a four year Bachelor’s degree with five or more years of experience in this or a related field
  • Working knowledge of:
    • Legal requirements and risks to perform this type of work, including the relevant legislation that impacts decision-making in particular situations;
    • Rental housing and requirements of tenants and landlords by law;
    • Homelessness, especially chronic homelessness
    • Dependency on substances;
    • Aboriginal culture and legacy impacts of residential schools, colonization, cultural compromises and impacts on cultural identity;
    • Economic poverty;
    • Income support services;
    • Child welfare;
    • Health care, mental health care, and addiction services;
    • Harm reduction;
    • Trauma and abuse;
    • Domestic and intimate partner violence (victim and perpetrators);
    • Life changes and aging;
    • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders;
    • Brain injuries;
    • Privacy and confidentiality;
    • Self-care
    • Corrections and criminal justice
  • Must be able to develop strong working relationships with client population, be able to relate to individuals making significant life decisions, and be supportive of individuals’ increasing independence.
  • Must be able to prepare written reports, data tracking and maintain client documentation. Basic keyboarding and computer literacy required.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and have access to a reliable vehicle
  • Current certification in CPR/First Aid may be required

Work Conditions

  • Not uncommon to see or be confronted with firsthand:
    • Violence and threats of violence
    • Profane, racist and/or sexist language
    • Bodily fluids
    • Conflict
    • Interactions with First Responders
    • Alcohol and other street drugs
    • Cigarette smoke
    • Death of service participants or their associates
    • Nudity of service participants or their associates
    • Friends/family dynamics with service participants
    • People involved with sex work
    • People involved in the drug trade
    • Persons used against their consent, will or knowledge
    • People in conflict with the law
    • And/or other situations that may be unsettling
    • Note: Measures are taken to train Housing First Worker to appropriately deal with these situations, but those in position should reasonably expect these types of things to occur and the Housing First Team Leader must provide appropriate direction and support to these situations
  • Work requires travel and making home visits; some hours will be in a normal office environment with exposure to some excessive noise, dust, fumes, vibrations and temperature changes
  • May be exposed to infectious waste, diseases and conditions
  • Manual dexterity required to use computer and peripherals.
  • Physical activity required including walking, standing
  • Work at a fast pace with unscheduled interruptions
  • Mostly day-time, weekday hours; some evening or weekend hours may be required
  • Occasionally may be required to lift items up to 10 pounds to a height of up to 3 feet or for distances up to 500 feet

Please apply by Friday, March 16th, 2018. Forward resume and cover letter to Raeleen Viklund (Human Resource Manager) via email at raeleen.viklund@lighthousesaskatoon.org, by fax to 306-665-7770, or drop off at The Lighthouse Front Desk (304 2nd Ave S). No phone calls please. Only those who are selected for an interview will be contacted. Interview will be conducted as applications are received.