The Community Support Specialist is responsible for supporting individuals with mental illness, persons with disabilities, and persons with other challenges to live successfully at Bradley Crossing Supportive Housing Community, Deerwood Crossing Senior Residences, and Golda Meir House. This position provides individual and group socialization and recovery support, linkages to resources, conflict resolution, and referral and linkage to community resources. The services are intended to support residents to live independently and integrate into the friendly and diverse living environment. This position reports to Jewish Family Services’ Vice President of Housing and Residential Services.
Agency Mission and Context:
Jewish Family Services’ mission is to provide supportive services that will strengthen families, children and individuals throughout the life cycle within the context of their unique needs and traditions.
Bradley Crossing is an affordable housing community that serves persons with and without disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental illness. Half of the 114 units are reserved for households with a member with a disability. Deerwood Crossing is an affordable senior housing community with 96 units of assisted and independent living. The two communities comprise a unique affordable housing campus in Brown Deer, WI that is dedicated to serving individuals and families. There are approximately 350 residents of our campus, including 100 children. Golda Meir House is a subsidized Section 8 apartment community for seniors (over age 62) and the disabled located on the Lower East Side of Milwaukee with 127 units. There is a mix of Russian speaking and English speaking residents.
Duties and Responsibilities
• Perform assessment and evaluation of each resident’s daily living skills and needs, physical needs, financial needs, and social and psychological well-being;
• Provide assistance with developing coping skills and problem solving to prevent crises before they occur. Inquire about and address any obstacles to successful independent living;
• Provide crisis support related to social, community, and individual functional capability as needed;
• Provide education on the importance of treatment and/or medication compliance;
• Conduct education and support groups on topics such as recovery planning, coping and wellness, healthy eating, self-esteem, relaxation, goal setting, and interpersonal relationships;
• Coordinate and promote participation in structured activities in collaboration with the Campus Integration Coordinator to encourage socialization;
• Link residents to resources that empower and support independent living, such as social services, mental and medical health, employment, crisis intervention, and other resources.
• Work with staff, residents, and property management staff to address issues that may arise in the course of residency, such as neighbor relations, conflict management and resolution, and crisis intervention. As appropriate, coordinate efforts with other parties, including case managers and family members.
• Maintain and report data related to resident participation and outcomes;
• Attend departmental, agency and external educational offerings as required;
• Model interpersonal skills for colleagues, agency staff, volunteers, residents and visitors/guests;
• Provide services to residents of other housing sites operated by JFS as needed.
• Perform other duties as assigned.
• Master’s degree in Human Services/Social Welfare/Social Work or related field with experience working with people with mental illness, addiction, intellectual/developmental disabilities or related applicable experiences preferred, or;
• Bachelor's degree in Human Services/Social Welfare/Social Work or related field with 2 years’ experience working with people with mental illness, addiction, intellectual/developmental disabilities or related applicable experiences required.
• Familiarity with crisis intervention, de-escalation, and conflict resolution techniques.
• Strong organizational, interpersonal and critical thinking skills; ability to work well independently and collaboratively with agency staff, volunteers and community professionals.
• Excellent communication (verbal and written), presentation, and facilitation skills.
• Ability to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends, as needed.
• Knowledge of MS Office 2013 suite of programs, particularly Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, Excel, and related standard office computer technology.
• Ability to create flyers to publicize programs.
• Ability to maintain confidentiality with sensitive information.
• Successfully pass a criminal background check with the WI Department of Justice, a caregiver background check with the WI Department of Health Services, WI Department of Children and Families, and WI Department of Safety and Professional Services.
• Knowledge, understanding, and/or willingness to learn Jewish culture and traditions and those of the client population as necessary.