Housing Counselor - Manhattan

The Housing Counselor has the primary objective to oversee the supervised community residence of 12-24 individuals in seven areas:  (a) physical plant safety and security, (b) meal preparation and coordination (c)  medication monitoring, (d) house management (e) ADL training and coaching, and (f) socialization events, as well as other duties as assigned.

Core Principles
The job responsibilities of all staff extend to understanding and incorporating certain principles into their work and into their relationships with program participants.  These principles are:
  • Program participants' right to self determination;
  • Respectful communication;
  • Services that support recovery and healing consistent with and nurturing each participant's cultural background, experience, identity, and values; and
  • Clear professional boundaries to support the limits and possibilities of services.

Essential Job Functions
Physical safety and security:
  • Provide accurate documentation of activity in-house.
  • Observe and document residents' interactions; provide interventions, as needed.
  • Provide crisis management, as needed.
  • Monitor the safety and security of the building.
  • Use desk log to keep an accurate record of activities on shift and any observations of potential problems, including but not limited to the removal of goods and materials from the building, in order to reduce the likelihood of theft. 
  • Review the desk log at the beginning of your shift. 
  • Monitor Fire Alarms; correct and record malfunctions; and call the central station in event of a false alarm or notify Fire Department in event of a fire. 
  • Follow the agency's emergency protocol, and work with emergency personnel when they arrive to acquaint them with issues involving residents or the building.
  • Complete incident reports according to agency guidelines. 
  • Report problems to supervisory staff, including non-working equipment and any issue that would compromise the physical safety of the residence or residents. 
  • Meal Preparation and Coordination: 
  • Serve nutritious meals for residents, and prepare plates for those not present.
  • Engage residents in meal preparation to provide hands on assistance to prepare meals, from menu selection through cooking and clean-up.  Responsible for meal preparation and clean-up, even in the absence of resident participation.   
  • Maintain a clean and organized kitchen/pantry area, including proper storage of food, while using each opportunity to assist residents to develop necessary skills.   
  • Escort residents on food and household shopping excursions as a way to develop residents' skill and confidence.
  • Maintain food inventory, in preparation for ordering.
Medication monitoring:
  • Provide close observation and keep accurate records of residents taking their medications.
  • Take responsibility for prompt follow-up with supervisor and service coordinator for any missing/inaccurate recordings in the medication book.
  • Ensure medications are stored and secured safely.
  • Inform appropriate staff when a resident is not taking his/her medications as prescribed or has missed a dosage. 
  • Serve as a liaison for all residents and their pharmacy.
  • Observe and assist residents in packaging their medications. 
  • Provide coaching and follow up to foster self-medication skills.
House management:
  • Perform room checks.
  • Provide hands-on assistance to residents in keeping personal area clean and orderly.
  • Maintain cleanliness of site, including bathrooms, garbage disposal and kitchen cleaning. 
  • Assist residents with sleep hygiene (good sleep habits which promote normal, quality nighttime sleep) routine. 
ADL Training and Coaching:
  • One-on-one and group training and coaching on the development of essential life skills with a focus on independent living, for example, keeping your personal area clean and orderly, laundry, snack preparation and clean up, personal shopping, among other living skills.
Socialization Events:
  • In conjunction with the residents, organize socialization events and evening activities.
  • Run recreation groups.
  • Accompany residents on socialization activities both in and outside the site.
Administrative and Clerical duties:
  • Answer phones, take messages, and provide routine information about Community Access and its programs.  Refer inquiries, and ensure that messages are given to appropriate parties.  
  • Handle packages in accordance with package policy.
  • Prepare work orders for repair and maintenance problems reported by residents or observed during shift. 
General duties:
  • Attend and participate in supervision, meetings, case conferences, and training sessions, as required and as scheduled.
  • Provide holiday coverage. 
  • Participate in training of new staff on essential job functions (after six months to a year).
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications
  • Have an understanding, appreciation, and commitment to the philosophy and mission of Community Access
  • Possess a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
  • Understand and apply a commitment to recovery-oriented practice
  • Get fingerprinted and cleared by the Office of Mental Health (OMH)
  • Be skilled in conflict mediation/negotiation/resolution and have an assertive approach to problem solving
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to utilize various computer programs; specifically Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Be creative and flexible
  • Take the initiative and be responsible for follow-through
  • Maintain confidentiality of information, as related to position
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to lift 40 lbs