The Doorway is looking for an engaging, inclusive, approachable leader with good listening and communication skills to be their next Executive Director (ED). Grounded in the belief of a youth’s ability to self-determine and a passion for helping young people help themselves, our new ED will display values of empathy, compassion and a commitment to possibility and hope in their every interaction. A great team leader and change agent, our new leader will work well with others, respecting their views and supporting staff and volunteers to develop their skills. Positive and encouraging, the successful candidate will have an open and flexible style. They will be good at problem solving and able to make sound decisions that generate unified support from diverse groups of stakeholders.
Our new ED will be a confident leader who can network and speak publicly about The Doorway in a business environment yet still be able to engage with participants on a meaningful level. An accomplished relationship builder, the successful candidate will be able to participate in positive ways in community initiatives that support youth. They will have the skills to raise significant support to fund our mission and will strategically engage with the community for greater awareness and stronger partnerships to ensure The Doorway thrives into the future, reaching and serving more youth.
The successful candidate will have a post-secondary degree in sociology or complementary field as well as extensive knowledge and direct experience with vulnerable youth such as in social work, addictions, family services, mental health, or other similar work experience. Commitment to practice within a participatory action research framework fuels the work of our new leader.
The successful candidate will have experience supporting a nonprofit Board of Directors in its governance duties and working with an engaged, passionate workforce of staff and volunteers, as well as a good understanding of non-profit finances, including project-based funding, grant applications, reporting and their implications.
The new leader of The Doorway has the responsibility and opportunity to build on the legacy of the previous ED, recognizing the need to both honour her contribution and continue to be responsive to the changing needs of youth. At the same time, our new ED will have the opportunity to build on our strong history and create a strong foundation of systems and processes to support growth in our outreach to youth and our impact on society’s understanding of how to best support young people as members of our communities.
In the late 80’s The Doorway piloted as an experiment in social change addressing young people living on the streets in Calgary. A sociological frame started with learning directly from the young people. An understanding of the differences between street culture and mainstream culture led to an awareness that the definition of ‘on the street’ was and still is today different than ‘homeless’.
The Doorway Approach engages both young people living on the streets and mainstream community members in a self-determined planning process and cross-cultural exchange to make these lasting changes.
Our Principles Based Approach:
The Doorway welcomes all young people (17-24 years old) who want to get off the street. We are a community here to listen without judgement. We give young people a safe space where they can tap into their innate wisdom and chart their own path forward. Change is possible.
The Doorway is here for young people and commits to them for a two-year period. During that time, they come through our doors, set goals and engage with community members. For 32 years, our proven process has been consistent and over one thousand young people, at an average success rate of 70%, have reached their goals to get off the street.
For every goal they set, participants earn $15. For many of them, this is the first chance they have had in life to make money legally. As young people continue to step through our door, set and track goals and build relationships with community members, amazing changes happen. They become more confident, hopeful and resilient. Most importantly, they start to believe in themselves and in their ability to get off the street and join mainstream community. In 2019, 97% of participants said The Doorway process helped them reach their goals.
Based in Calgary, AB, The Doorway (formerly The Backdoor, A Youth Employment Society) has been providing street youth a unique process to help themselves get off the street, since 1988. The Doorway has an annual budget of approximately $400,000 and is supported by a small core team of staff and volunteers and a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors. In 2019, we supported 77 young people plan 2154 steps to get off the street with the help of 1489 community volunteer hours.
For more than 30 years The Doorway has believed:
The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the successful leadership, management and operations at The Doorway (The Backdoor, Youth Employment Society). The Doorway has a dual mandate;
The ED’s major mandate is to ensure that The Doorway has a long-range strategy for success and achieves consistent and timely progress on its goals. As the senior staff member of The Doorway, the ED clearly understands, demonstrates and practices the values and philosophy of the organization while providing leadership and hands on support to a small, capable, engaged team of staff and community volunteers who support youth with our unique process. Key responsibilities include fund development; optimal use of organizational finances, staff and resources; long range strategic and fiscal planning; operational oversight and support; building collaborative relationships with other agencies; and enhancing The Doorway’s profile in the community.
Leadership and Culture
Operations, Program, and People Management
Community Leadership and Advocacy
Financial Planning and Management
Governance and Board Relations
Key competencies the candidate must demonstrate are:
· Networking and Relationship Building
· Fund Development
· Strategic Thinking
Post-secondary degree in sociology, community development, social work, education or a related discipline, supplemented by business experience. A combination of relevant education and experience will be considered.
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