Triage Specialist, 19-245 (132 views)

Boston, Massachusetts
October 16, 2019 2019-12-15
Job Description

SCHEDULE: 40 hours, 4 day work week, work days TBD


The Triage Specialist engages new shelter referrals in a triage assessment process which is designed to determine a guest’s immediate level of need and assertively moves the guest to safe housing. The triage Specialist will answer incoming calls to emergency services to ensure consistent, accurate information on PSI’s shelters, other PSI services and implement diversion strategies; they will provide education on shelter limitations, and alternative options to entering shelter. The Triage Specialist will work with community providers of health and behavioral health services to coordinate care plans which do not rely on emergency shelter when other more appropriate medical and behavioral health services should be explored and utilized. The Triage Specialist will work to coordinate appropriate discharge plans for guests who are reentering the community from incarceration with a clear focus on upstream services which avoid unnecessary reliance on emergency shelter. The Triage Specialist will work within a best practice framework of Harm Reduction, Motivational Interviewing and Trauma-Informed Care and, whenever possible, will provide support toward family reunification and mitigating barriers to securing alternative options for safe housing. If diversion is not possible or appropriate, the Triage Specialist will initiate a full guest intake, frame the guest understands of a limited stay in emergency shelter, and establishes the foundation for the guest’s work towards a more permanent housing solution – this will include triage housing placement within the first 30 days of Shelter. The Triage Specialist will provide exceptional customer service both internally and externally and will work in partnership with case management teams to provide integrated service delivery which furthers our mission to eliminate homelessness. The Triage Specialist will work under tight timeframes for accurately entering guest information into Pine Street Inn’s approved Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Attention to detail and accuracy is critical in this position.

The Triage Specialist will work from the following principles: 

  • Shelter is a temporary safety net, not a home. The Housing Placement Team must assertively motivate guests and incentivize them to seek better alternatives using best practices.
  • 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’ 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


  • Associates in a human services related field Or High School Diploma with a minimum of two (3) years of equivalent experience in a social service setting
  • Valid Massachusetts Driver’s License
  • Strong computer and math skills, including familiarity with MS Word, Excel and ability to learn and successfully use MIS & HMIS programs
  • Minimum of two (2) years’ experience delivering services to a challenged population often struggling with addiction and untreated or under-treated mental health concerns
  • Working knowledge of motivational interviewing and/or client assessment,
  • Knowledge of the issues related to homelessness
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Ability to stand for moderate periods of time
  • Ability to 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
  • Ability to respond safely and quickly in case of emergency situations crisis prevention and intervention

PAY: $18.00 PER HOUR