Rapid Rehousing Youth Advocate

Employment Status



Open Until Filled


Des Moines, IA

The Rapid Rehousing Youth Advocate (RRYA) provides housing support, community advocacy, and voluntary case management services for a youth focused rapid rehousing program for homeless participants in Des Moines that come from the streets or emergency shelter locations. The Rapid Rehousing Youth Advocate will provide intensive one-on-one supportive services to individuals between the ages of 18 and up to their 25nd birthday that reside in scattered site apartments.

The typical caseload will consist of 12-18 participants.  RRYA duties will include admission of participants into the program, informal and formal assessment of supportive self-sufficiency needs, assisting participants in individualized goal setting, providing program orientation to participants, and enabling them to become self-sufficient through permanency in their own housing. In addition, the RRYA will provide crisis intervention, collaborate with community partners when helping youth become successful adults, make referrals to appropriate agencies/individuals for services as needed, and strengthen existing landlord relationships. The duties are performed both in a general office environment and in the community where participants reside, specifically in their apartments

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work or related human services field is required.
  • Two or more years of direct youth work experience is required. Must be qualified to provide SAL services.
  • SOAR Training is a plus. Prior experience using HMIS/RHY database – Service Point is preferred.
  • Assess housing barriers of individuals experiencing homelessness to determine housing and service needs with the overarching goal of self-sufficiency and housing stability.
  • Develop an individualized housing procurement, financial, self-sufficiency, and goal-focused case management plan together with clients. This includes intake interviews to determine client’s strengths, needs, goals, and eligibility.
  • Run a Tenant Screening Report for all program participants prior to entry into program.
  • Provide mediation and advocacy with landlords on the client’s behalf to develop a workable plan to obtain and or maintain housing.
  • Assist participants in locating, securing and moving into housing within the available options provided by local landlord partners.
  • Facilitate program participants accessing the Free Store with the help of a Street Outreach Youth Advocate & then moving into their own apartment.
  • Create and maintain consistent communication channels, both verbal and written, between several parties (i.e. tenant, landlord, referral source, collaborating agencies, supports, community partners such as manager and/or school counselor if applicable).
  • Serve as an ongoing liaison between landlord and participants as well as between participants and neighbors. This includes being the point person to resolve landlord complaints as quickly as possible.
  • Hand deliver monthly rental support payments to landlord offices.
  • Perform monthly maintenance checks on each program apartment.
  • Plan and coordinate, with support from the IHYC Development Team, a yearly landlord volunteer appreciation day with program youth participation (community leadership service).
  • Plan and coordinate a quarterly Rapid Rehousing Social for all program participants.
  • Provide information and referral assistance regarding available support from appropriate social service agencies and/or community programs.
  • Assist in development of and encourage adherence to a personal budget as well as provide budget counseling and education to assist clients in establishing payments plans for bills and past debts and to assist clients in obtaining and maintaining their housing.
  • Helping all program participants to establish a bank account (both checking and savings accounts).
  • Running credit reports on all participants to then work towards resolving any negative debt history.
  • Connecting participants to Iowa Legal Aid for legal support as needed.
  • With participant input, set both short-term and long-term goals with each participant. Evaluate progress on goals at least monthly with participants. Recognize goal accomplishments in a positive manner.  Goals should be strength-based/solution-focused that promote permanent housing solutions.
  • Provide pro-active follow-up home visits at minimum twice a month to ensure stability and further progress towards self-sufficiency; this includes support, advocacy, reducing isolation, listening, problem solving, and identification of resources to assist with reintegration of participants in the community after program is done.
  • Apply knowledge of residential lease contracts to educate clients of their rights and responsibilities.
  • Transport clients as deemed necessary to meet their case plan goals.
  • Educate participants on public transportation options in our community and teach them how to access and use this resource.
  • Complete program participant progress notes, continued assessments, continued stay reviews, and other required HUD paperwork in HMIS (ServicePoint) in a timely fashion (i.e HUD Rent Reasonableness, Income Verification, HQS Reports, and other HUD mandated paperwork).
  • Collect and report program data, including but not limited to HMIS reporting and funders’ required data.
  • Provide intake on approved participants. All admissions and discharges are approved by the Rapid Rehousing Youth Advocate Supervisor.
  • Relate to all participants in a caring, supportive and non-judgmental manner.
  • Take an active interest in each participant as an individual and deal respectfully with his/her thoughts, feelings and choices.
  • Act as the lead communicator with other programs of IHYC/YSS and other people connected to the clients’ case, and it is the RRYA’s responsibility to engage others and document all communication.
  • Complete voluntary Individual Case Plans and the Casey Life Skills Assessments with each client within 30 days of entry into this program. The Individual Case Plan, Casey Life Skills Assessment, and the Matrix assessment all need to be updated at least quarterly.
  • Meet with all participants individually at least one time per week in the first 30 days of entry into the program and then twice a month thereafter or as determined appropriate based on each participant’s needs and with input from the RRYA Supervisor.
  • Attend IHYC/YSS staff and programmatic meetings as assigned.
  • Teach youth living skills around independent living (i.e. thermostat, setting up utilities, grocery shopping, cooking, use of kitchen appliances, cleaning best practices, what does and does not go in a toilet, setting up mail service, cable/internet, being a good neighbor, how to follow a lease).
  • Help program participants connect with the community via clubs, school, volunteer opportunities, or social opportunities.

All applicants are required to complete an online application.
YSS hires nicotine free staff only. EOE