Ve’ahavta is a Jewish humanitarian organization dedicated to promoting positive change in the lives of people of all faiths and backgrounds who have been marginalized by poverty and hardship. Ve’ahavta mobilizes volunteers in meaningful, hands-on experiences to fulfill our collective responsibility to care for our neighbour. Please visit www.veahavta.org for more information.
The Mobile Jewish Response to Homelessness outreach van program operates 7 times per week (Monday – Saturday 4pm-12am, and Sundays 11am-6pm) in the downtown Toronto area. The Outreach Worker facilitates the distribution of essential supplies such as food, coffee, clothing, hygiene products, and harm reduction supplies to individuals experiencing homelessness. The Outreach Worker also provides supportive services and referrals to other community organizations as needed.
As this program is a hands-on volunteer opportunity in which each shift includes the participation of three volunteers, including youth, the Outreach Worker is responsible for an educational component as well.
In addition, the Outreach Worker will have the opportunity to play a supporting role in The Ve’ahavta Photography Contest, providing client support throughout the program, mostly at workshops and events.
Client Service and Program Facilitation
- Lead the outreach shift according to all standards of practice as outlined by Ve’ahavta policies
- Provide exemplary and compassionate service to clients experiencing homelessness in the GTA
- Provide support to clients via telephone or in person outside of regular van shifts (during office/client support days)
- Refer clients to services required for capacity-building and poverty relief, such as healthcare, housing, and counselling supports
- Offer harm reduction strategies based on client needs
- Complete shift exchange and case notes
- Track and record all required data related to outreach work and client interactions
- Drive the Ve’ahavta mobile outreach van safely and effectively
- Populate the vehicle with supplies from the Ve’ahavta supply room
- Track inventory of van supplies and order necessary supplies on a regular basis
- Keep vehicle clean, well-maintained, and serviced regularly according to service schedules
- Work with fundraising and communications staff to identify sources of supply donations for the program
- Communicate with other Outreach Workers regarding client issues or needs (for services, referral or crisis situations)
The Ve’ahavta Photography Contest Support
- Work with The Ve’ahavta Photography Contest coordinator to ensure all participant related concerns and inquiries are addressed
- Supervise, orient, and support volunteers at occasional The Ve’ahavta Photography Contest events
- Supervise a small team of volunteers, ensuring a safe and fulfilling volunteer experience
- Provide thorough orientation and education pertaining to homelessness and systemic poverty
- Foster volunteer relationships and support of Ve’ahavta
Education and Advocacy
- Deliver occasional public education and awareness activities about homelessness and marginalization for corporate and community groups
- Engage in media opportunities as a representative of Ve’ahavta
- Represent Ve’ahavta at community events, conferences and other networking opportunities
- Other duties as specified by Manager of Client Outreach Programs
- Post-secondary education in social services or related field
- Demonstrated experience with an understanding of homelessness, marginalized populations, including those experiencing mental illness and addictions
- Demonstrated experience in crisis intervention and services
- Thorough understanding of harm reduction practices
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Knowledge of community/social services, particularly in areas of mental health, corrections, housing and health, in order to do appropriate referrals
- Experience working with external community service partners and stakeholders
- Proactive and “hands on” approach to meet deadlines and accomplish assigned tasks and projects with minimal supervision
- Adept at working collaboratively, in building a client centered approach to support other team members and volunteers
- Proficient use of Microsoft applications and experience with online reporting forms and databases are required
- Adept at working collaboratively, with team members and volunteers
- Hold a valid driver’s license and at least 5 years driving experience, with a clean driving record free of convictions and moving violations
- Ability to carry up to 25 lbs. to manage the supplies and clothing bins
- Ability to work a flexible schedule
Please be advised that all offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a Police Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening, and clear Driver’s Abstract provided by the Ministry of Transportation.
Interested applicants are invited to submit their resume and cover letter to Mara Behan, Manager of Programs: Mara.Behan@veahavta.org
Please put “Outreach Worker” in subject line
Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and the posting will remain open until the position is filled.
We thank all interested applicants but can only respond to those invited for an interview.
Ve’ahavta is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from equity seeking groups including qualified individuals with personal experience of the mental health system. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.