Job Details
Job Description

Northwest Housing Alternatives is offering an exciting employment opportunity to assist in supporting and operating the new Annie Ross House for families experiencing homelessness in Clackamas County. 


The Shelter Engagement Specialist ensures quality day-to-day operations of the Annie Ross House and provides support for families from a person-centered, trauma-informed perspective. This position will provide shelter coverage when there are open shifts due to staff vacancies and program needs. As an On-Call Shelter Engagement Specialist, you will have the hands-on opportunity to support the most vulnerable segment of our population. The On-Call Shelter Engagement Specialist is a part-time on-call role. The Annie Ross House location is easily accessible by public transportation (TriMet). 

As an equal opportunity employer, NHA is committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive environment and we are actively seeking to recruit a diverse applicant pool. The ideal candidate will have learned or lived experience enabling them to work effectively with all families. 

This is a non-exempt position covering vacant shifts (7:00 - 3:00pm; 2:30 - 10:30pm and 10:00 - 7:30am) as needed throughout the week. The hourly wage is $17.00 with a $0.75 differential for bilingual Spanish speaking staff.  

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support shelter participants in following shelter policies and procedures. 
  • Offer assistance to participants as need with housing searches, applying for government entitlements, preparing resumes or employment applications, or identifying community resources. 
  • Observe and identify potential conflicts between participants or between parent/guardian and child. Assertively offer support to prevent or de-escalate a situation. 
  • Offer education on child development and/or age-appropriate parenting techniques as needed. 
  • Model effective communication; provide reflective listening and validation techniques where support is needed. 
  • Complete shift duties consistently such as documenting in the log; and conducting a shift change to communicate issues of concern regarding shelter participants and/or campus. 
  • Respond appropriately to instances of child abuse, domestic violence, accidents, first-aid/CPR emergencies or calls to 911, and report to Program Manager in the event of such an emergency. Fill out incident reports per organization policy; forward to Asset Management. 
  • Coordinate move out activities of shelter families; clean, disinfect, and prepare shelter rooms after exit to be ready to receive new families. 
  • Ensure shelter is maintained in good working order, specifically, that it is kept clean, stocked, and organized. 
  • Regularly monitor the shelter fo issues of maintenance, cleanliness, safety, and security. Conduct room checks once per week. 
  • Coordinate with Program Manager to identify and plan for repairs, maintenance or physical improvements to the facilities. Facilitate and supervise the work of contractors or vendors when repairs or maintenance is occurring. 
  • Respond to shelter alarm box and communicate with security service in the event of an emergency or false alarm. 
  • Facilitate the intake of donations; obtain donor information and complete appropriate paperwork. 
  • Sort, inventory, and put away donations. 
  • Provide childcare support as needed during case management meetings. 

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Excellent active listening and critical thinking skills with a service orientation. 
  • Ability to monitor ongoing activities in consideration of changing conditions. 
  • Knowledge of community resources and government entitlements programs. 
  • Possess knowledge of empowerment, trauma-informed care, issues related to mental health and substance abuse, and domestic violence.
  • Knowledge of child development, family systems, and positive parenting techniques is desirable.
  • Experience working with families from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Ability to work successfully in a team-oriented environment and independently.
  • Possess positive problem-solving skills and ability to engage in successful conflict resolution.
  • Basic skills and abilities in Microsoft Word, EXCEL, and Outlook.


  • AA/AS Degree, Bachelor's preferred; or combination of two years of lived and/or learned experience in issues related to poverty, families experiencing homelessness, and government entitlements. 
  • Must possess a current CPR/First Aid certification; or complete within 6 months of hire.
  • Valid Oregon driver's license, good driving record, and proof of insurance.
  • Must successfully pass a criminal background check. 

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
  • Walking up and down stairs. 
  • Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.

About Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) 
For over 35 years, Northwest Housing Alternatives has been a leading not-for-profit developer of affordable housing. Our mission is to create opportunity through housing by developing, building, and managing rental housing designed for Oregonians with extremely limited incomes. These homes help families live healthy and stable lives, allow older adults to age in place, and give people with special needs a dignified residence. Along with providing affordable housing, NHA provides services that connect tenants to critical health and community resources, work to prevent homelessness before it begins, and offer emergency shelter services for families experiencing homelessness. 

NHA offers a great work environment and an opportunity to work with a group of committed and passionate coworkers just seven miles south of downtown Portland.