Director Homeless Services (Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada)

Requisition ID: 27979 

Company

Located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver has a commitment to becoming a City of Reconciliation. Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities and is working towards being the greenest city in the world. Named among Canada’s Top 100 Employers, BC’s Top Employers, and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the City of Vancouver seeks colleagues who can help shape and embody our core commitments to sustainability, decolonization, equity and outstanding quality of life for all residents.  Consider joining our committed team of staff and being part of an innovative, inclusive and rewarding workplace.

The Director of Homeless Services works in collaboration with the Leadership team within Arts, Culture and Community Services. The Director of Homelessness Services is a strategic position that makes recommendations for services and programs to address homelessness in the City of Vancouver. The Homeless Services Division provides support to residents who are experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness in accessing the social determinants of health, including housing, income and health resources, as well as increasing inclusion, safety and belonging for residents typically marginalized by histories of colonization, gender and racial identities, mental and physical health, addiction and poverty

Main Purpose and Function

As a member of the ACCS senior leadership team, the Director of Homeless Services reports to the Managing Director of Homelessness Services & Affordable Housing and is responsible for the following:

  1. oversight of the homelessness services outreach team who provide direct support connecting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with income, housing and other supports and services
  2. oversight of the planning and program staff team who are responsible for a variety of projects and initiatives to increase understanding of the causes and solutions to homelessness, as well as providing services to people experiencing homelessness (e.g, activation of Warming Centres and Temporary Shelters);
  3. working with key agencies, people with lived experience and others to provide recommendations to address positive impacts for people experiencing or at risk of homeless in the City of Vancouver 
  4. undertakes research and develops policy recommendations in response to demographic trends affecting homelessness particularly through the design of Homeless Counts, the implementation of relevant landlord and client surveys, as well as researching and assessing solutions found in other localities.
  5. advising senior management and Mayor and Council on trends and gaps in the service identified by individuals who are experiencing homelessness; and
  6. acting as the COV media spokesperson on issues, and responses related to homelessness.

Specific Duties/Responsibilities

Provides oversight of the COV Shelter Response Strategy in conjunction with BC Housing, other COV Departments,

  • The position maintains regular contact with non-profit housing providers and the community organizations involved in homelessness issues, initiates and manages community consultation regarding the City’s homeless policies and strategies, and participates in the community’s initiatives.
  • Manages research and analysis to understand the causes and solutions of homelessness, including homeless counts and other community data gathering initiatives on homelessness using an intersectional approach.
  • Provides strategic leadership and advice with the objective of achieving deliverables, operational efficiency and cost effectiveness.
  • Demonstrated skills in conflict resolution, and the ability to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders/partners and various levels of government.
  • Ability to manage operations and multiple projects & programs, set priorities, delegate effectively and meet deadlines.
  • Provides education, training and capacity building on homelessness, to internal departments, external partners and stakeholders, Administers the Homeless Action Week grant program for community groups holding Connect and Homeless Action Week events.
  • Represents ACCS on the City’s strategic planning processes and initiatives that relate to or impact homelessness, and on Steering Committees which involve or impact homelessness issues.
  • Prepares reports and presents information directly to the GM of ACCS, City Manager, City Council, and Council Committees.
  • Key liaison role in the case of established homeless encampments or other housing emergencies (i.e. fires, relocations)
  • Responsible for the preparation and management of department budget and staff resources for Homeless Services including negotiation, management and reporting on external funding. (including BC Housing)
  • Provides leadership to and directly manages staff, including ensuring adherence to all City policies & procedures including hiring and termination, financial management, health & safety, discipline, performance and attendance management, coaching, training and development. The Director motivates, engages, and directs staff; provides coaching on a timely basis; develops goals and expectations; and identifies training and development for division staff.
  • Responsible for supporting and implementing the City of Reconciliation and equity strategies into the division’s work, in particular to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people and especially Indigenous women who are homeless.
  • other duties as required.

Minimum Position Requirements

Education and Experience:

  • A degree in Social Sciences, Business Administration, Policy Development or other related discipline, preferably at the post graduate level or equivalent equivalent education and experience.  Additional courses related to budget development, project management, leadership and labour relations are highly desirable.
  • A minimum of 10 years related experience with at least 5 years working in a senior management capacity.  Strong technical skills are required and the ability to lead and manage a diverse group of staff.
  • Extensive experience working with individuals who are experiencing homeless or are at risk of homelessness, and with organizations that provide front line services.
  • Demonstrated cultural competency in working with the Indigenous community and with Indigenous service agencies.
  • Demonstrates City of Vancouver leadership dimensions through leading self, engaging others and advancing the organization through the leadership competency framework

Other Factors:

Knowledge of Community

Extensive knowledge and understanding of individuals who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.  Including those living without or on a limited income, with physical disabilities, with experience of mental health and substance use challenges, physical and/or emotional trauma/illness, living in marginal situations including inadequate housing, shelters or on the street, experience with people in the survival sex trade. As well as an understanding of the systemic barriers facing marginalized individuals who are homeless including the impacts of systems of oppression and violence are created by colonization, colourism and racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, trans-misogyny, and classism.

Business Unit/Department: Arts, Culture and Community Services (1200) 

Employment Type: Regular Full Time 

Application Close:  May 9, 2021

At the City of Vancouver, we are committed to recruiting a diverse workforce that represents the community we so proudly serve. Indigenous applicants, people of colour, all genders, LGBT2Q+ and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Accommodations will be provided upon request during the selection process.  If you would like to be considered for this exciting and impactful career opportunity, please apply through our careers site.

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

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