Rapid Housing Search Specialist, MON-FRI, 8:30AM-5PM, 19-317 (193 views)

444 Harrison Ave Boston Ma 02118, 444 Harrison Ave Boston Ma 02118
December 23, 2019 2020-02-21
Job Description


40 hours, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., this schedule requires flexibility due to program needs; early mornings, weekends, holidays and evenings may be required


The Rapid Housing Search Specialists (RHSS) will work as part of a coordinated and integrated interagency team of housing search specialist across the Boston Rapid Re-Housing continuum. The RHSS will work assertively to identify the units necessary to meet the housing needs of this developing Rapid Re-Housing system. The RHSS will work with brokers, landlords, government agencies, and property management companies to cultivate, develop and maintain all types of housing options in and around Boston. Leveraging all available housing search resources and expanding to right –size the number of properties for this initiative. A virtual clearing house of available properties inside and around Boston will be established so that homeless individuals can be quickly matched to appropriate properties. The RHSS will work in conjunction with the Partnership Manager and the Director for Rapid Re-Housing and Triage to build capacity for shared living and securing units outside of Boston. There will be a RHSS located at four partner agencies. Each RHSS will individually be responsible for securing a specific number of units leveraging all housing search resources and ensuring that we are not duplicating housing search efforts. The RHSS will work within a Housing First framework. The RHSS works in concert with Boston shelter triage teams and the CAS system to ensure coordination across the homeless services system.

The RHSS will work from, adopt and enliven the following principles:

  •  Shelter is a temporary safety net, not a home.
  • All people experiencing homelessness, regardless of their housing history and duration of homelessness, can achieve housing stability in permanent housing.
  • Never warehouse or institutionalize our guests in our shelters
  • Everyone is “housing ready.” Sobriety, compliance in treatment, or even a clean criminal history is not necessary to succeed in housing. Rather, homelessness programs and housing providers must be “consumer ready.”
  • Leverage guests’ their strengths, assets, and connections to move quickly out of shelters and to any other housing
  • Recognize the impact of violence and victimization on development and coping strategies  
  • Employ an empowerment model
  • Maximize guest choices and control over her/his recovery based in a relational collaboration  
  • Create an atmosphere that is respectful of the guests’ need for safety, respect, and acceptance  
  • Emphasize the guests’ strengths, highlighting adaptations over symptoms and resilience over pathology  
  • Minimize the possibilities of re-traumatization  
  • Strive to be culturally competent and to understand each person in the context of his or her life experiences and cultural background  
  • Solicit guest input and involve guests in designing and evaluating services




  •  Associates in a human services related field [may be substituted for High School diploma with at least three (3) years of equivalent experience in a social service setting]
  •  Valid Massachusetts Driver’s License and the ability to pass Pine Street Inn’s safe driving criteria (minimum criteria, no more than two accidents, at-fault incidents, speeding tickets, and/or moving violations within the past two years).


  •  Certification, training, or formal education in counseling and/or case management
  •  Experience in Housing search
  •  Bilingual – Spanish/English
  •  Experience in property development



  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience delivering services to a challenged population often struggling with addiction and untreated or under-treated mental health concerns
  • Strong computer and math skills – including familiarity with MS Word, Excel and the ability to learn and successfully use MIS & HMIS programs
  • Practical experience in creating housing plans and individual service plans, client assessments, diversion, mediation, negotiation, motivational interviewing, trauma informed care, crisis prevention and intervention, household budgeting, rapid re-housing and service planning, recovery services – including mental health, substance use/abuse and traumatic brain injury
  • Working Knowledge of Housing First and Rapid Rehousing
  • Experience in client assessment, trauma informed care, motivational interviewing, negotiation, household budgeting, and housing/community referrals, case management and service planning
  • Knowledge of the issues related to homelessness and housing
  • Working knowledge of human services systems, housing subsidy programs and homeless referral networks


  • Experience accessing local housing opportunities and subsidy programs for homeless individuals
  • Two (2) or more years of leadership and/or supervisory experience
  • Experience navigating systems of housing and care for homeless individuals
  • Experience speaking/presenting in front of medium to large size groups
  • Knowledge of motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care, harm reduction, housing first and change theory



  • Ability to stand for moderate periods of time, stretch, bend, lift and assist guests up and down stairs during difficult and/or emergency situations.
  • Ability to respond safely and quickly in case of emergency situations
  • Ability to sit for moderate periods of time at a desk in an office while interacting with clients and/or managing documentation and completing data entry
  • Must be able to drive a PSI vehicle for work use



  • Excellent writing, documentation, math and computer skills
  • Ability to assess clients and make appropriate referrals
  • Ability to establish good working relationships with internal and external program staff
  • Strong decision-making, leadership ability and communication skills
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Ability to perform an array of difficult tasks at the same time
  • Patience in working with guests with untreated emotional and/or physical health needs and active substance use/abuse/dependency behaviors
  • Ability to work in intense emotionally charged situations
  • Ability to help provide critical incident de-briefing


  • Meet or exceed established program goals
  • Secure a minimum of 40 appropriate properties in a 12 month period to be matched to identified Rapid Re-Housing guests
  • Work as a strong contributor to an interagency coordinated team
  • Ensure quality data entry: accurate and timely data entry
  • Input guest updates and other pertinent service information in the HMIS system. Use HMIS system to track guest access to services and outcomes
  • Actively participate in Housing Search collaboration meetings
  • Contribute Housing options to a virtual clearing house to be leverage d by the full continuum
  • Coordinate and align with Boston’s Coordinated Access System and Shelter Triage and Outreach Teams
  • Perform other additional assignments or projects as requested/directed by supervisor