Position: Diversion and Navigation Specialist

Posting Date: 9/12/2019

Classification: Non-Exempt

Schedule: Part-time, 25 hours/week,  Flexible


About Inspirica

Inspirica’s mission is to break the cycle of homelessness by helping people achieve – and maintain – permanent housing and stability in their lives.  We are one of the largest providers of services to the homeless in Connecticut.  Each night, we house 350 people. We serve more than 1,050 people per year, including 250 children. Our residential facilities include emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and deeply affordable housing.  We serve individuals across the spectrum of the homeless, including single men, single women, families, people with mental illness, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Inspirica is one of only a few organizations nationally that is able to address both the physical component of homelessness (residential services) and its underlying root causes (support services) on a single, powerful, end-to-end platform. In addition to housing, we provide vocational training, workforce education, job placement, housing placement, job & housing retention support, children's services, early childhood & parenting services, case management, etc. We further collaborate with a vast array of external partners to provide medical/dental care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, etc.

We are a results-oriented organization with a caring professional staff and dedicated volunteers who believe in individual human potential, personal accountability and mutual respect.

Position Overview

The Diversion and Navigation Specialist is a member of the case management team and is responsible for the following major functions in conjunction with the Fairfield County  Coordinated Access Network (CAN), managing the process by which we:

  1. Divert clients from the shelter system

  2. Help new individuals and families navigate their housing instability

  3. Implement regional initiatives associated with CAN.


Primary Responsibilities

Reporting to the Chief Officer of Program Effectiveness and Performance Measurement or associate, the duties of the Diversion and Navigation Specialist include, but are not limited to:

  1. Initial Client Meeting Responsibilities:

    • Meet with all clients referred through the Fairfield County CAN, conducting diversion screening and CAN Assessment paperwork.

    • Determine if the client can be diverted from entry into the homeless shelter system or if the client should be placed on the regional shelter waitlist.

    • Help clients develop a Housing Plan and identify action steps toward their stated housing goals.

  2. Client Follow-up Responsibilities:

    • Provide basic case management services and access to alternatives to shelter for all individuals who are being diverted, to facilitate the retention of their housing.

    • Provide referrals to necessary services for the client including: Inspirica Jumpstart Career Program and other external resources (medical, mental health, substance abuse treatment, etc.).

    • Work with clients to collect birth certificates, social security cards, photo ID’s, income certification, homelessness verification, disability verification (all when applicable and appropriate).

  3. In-house Follow up:

    • For clients that are scheduled an intake into an Inspirica program, provide a preliminary review of program requirements, work with program staff to coordinate intake of the client and completion of Inspirica’s move-in protocols.

    • If the client is in a Room for Resolution (triage/crisis space for literally homeless families), work with the client to continue diversion and housing plans.

    • Once the client has been in-shelter for at least two weeks, conduct a Vulnerability Index - Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool and confirm the client has been placed on the By-Name List in the community of their choosing- Stamford, Norwalk, or Bridgeport.

    • Communicate regularly with Inspirica program directors to facilitate client entry into programs.

  4. Community Contact:

    • Serve as agency point of contact for all clients on the regional shelter waitlist awaiting entry into emergency shelter or transitional housing programs, including working with the CAN and Stamford Housing First team.

    • Foster community partnerships and creative collaborations to open and maintain resource opportunities for clients.

  5. Documentation and Training:

    • Maintain organized files and document all activities in a timely manner (including personal client notes and HMIS data entry).

    • Participate in all necessary trainings including (but not limited to) HMIS, CAN, VI-SPDAT, Diversion, etc.

    • Actively participate in local and regional groups and committees as appropriate to coordinate efforts.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • At least three years of experience working in social services (ideally working with the homeless population),

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.

  • Candidates must be creative, energetic and comfortable working in a fast-paced environment.

  • Strong oral communication, written communication, and motivational interviewing skills are required.

  • Excellent interpersonal and conflict resolution skills are a must.

  • Candidates must be able to work well both independently and as a member of a team and be capable of meeting specific goals and deadlines.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office required.

  • Experience with HMIS is a plus.

  • Must have a valid driver's license with a good driving record and must be able to work in inclement weather.

  • Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable. Fluency in Haitian Creole is a plus.

Required Education

Bachelor’s Degree.

Candidates should email resume and cover letter (in Word format) with “Navigation Specialist” in the subject line to: search@InspiricaCT.org

Inspirica is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including age, disability, race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, the presence of a non-job related handicap, or any other legally protected status.