Foundations for Social Change is not a traditional non-profit. Our purpose is to innovate new models that advance social change and shared prosperity. Foundations for Social Change is led by a team with combined expertise in social impact, partnership development, research and policy, behavioural sustainability, organizational management and finance. Our team is small and strong, and is made up of staff, a board of directors and people with lived experience of homelessness. Ultimately we envision an inclusive world where everyone thrives.
In all that we do, as individuals and as a group, we are guided by the values of Courage, Compassion, and Connection.
We are currently hiring Community Connectors for an ongoing project administered by FSC in partnership with a team of researchers from UBC. The study is investigating the impact of specific policy interventions that may improve housing outcomes and the overall wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness.
'Community Connector' Role Expectations
- Create a positive experience for participants within the context of a social policy research project supporting individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
- Use mindful and reflective listening skills while interacting with participants, project staff, partners, and members of the community.
- Provide non-judgmental, compassionate and confidential support to participants and connect them with relevant supports as needed.
- Follow appropriate informed consent procedures and adhere to guidelines for research with human subjects.
- Participate in education and training to ensure ethical and quality research.
- If required, liaise with partners to assist the referral process and help potential participants complete the online application form (or a paper version).
- Conduct outreach around specific areas of Metro Vancouver, either on the street or at the locations of service providers that support people experiencing homelessness, in order to support with recruitment for the study.
- Schedule and confirm appointments for interviews with participants.
- Conduct screening interviews with participants and apply clinical assessment tools to determine functionality and eligibility for the project.
- Manage a cohort of study participants throughout the duration of the project, including:
- Following up on participants who have consented to participate;
- Providing information and answering questions about the research process;
- Conducting in-person and telephone research interviews using standardized questionnaires; and
- Keeping detailed and accurate records of participant contact and interview information.
- Ensure the wellbeing and interests of participants by bringing issues to the attention of researchers and leadership and advocating on their behalf as appropriate.
- Contribute to the preparation and submission of project-related reports, including status updates, research reports, policy briefs, and communication materials.
- Assist with office work as necessary, including printing and organizing project materials, record keeping, and data entry.
- Perform other administrative and research duties as assigned.
- Support and champion a SEN process (Storytelling, Experience Building, Narrative Inquiry) developed by FSC, engaging participants in story sharing activities that are collaborative and not extractive:
- Participate themselves in community connector storyforms, sharing their reflections and contributing to a wider narrative about taking part in a cash transfer project;
- Supporting and encouraging clients to take part in the SEN process, inviting them to engage in storyforms and attend sensemaking sessions.
- Working knowledge of local community resources, relevant services, subsidies and organizations that address the needs of people who are unhoused.
- Able to work cross-culturally with people from diverse cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.
- Experience working independently under minimal supervision as well as in multi-disciplinary, collaborative teams.
- Excellent communication (oral and written) and organizational skills.
- Able to work under pressure in a fast paced environment and manage crisis and conflict effectively.
- Skilled in relationship building and management with diverse individuals.
- Can display unconditional positive regard for others.
- Strong listening and assessment skills
- Has access to and ability to use a computer for attending meetings and having virtual conversations.
- Functional computer knowledge and database-management skills, using applications such as Microsoft Office and GSuite
- Willing to undergo a criminal record check if requested.
- Lived experience and/or an intimate understanding of the realities associated with homelessness is a valuable asset.
- A Bachelor’s degree in Social Work is valuable, OR an acceptable equivalent/combination of education and experience.
- Able to work from a Trauma Informed Care perspective
- Knowledgeable about harm reduction theories and approaches
- A good understanding of the impact on poverty on children, youth, and families
- Knowledge of community resources designed to support the homeless population
- Fluency in additional languages other than English
- Current First Aid, CPR, and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI)
- An understanding of both qualitative and quantitative research methods and analysis.
- An understanding of community engaged research principles and participatory action research.
Expect to work between 20 and 30 hours per week (variable depending on the right candidate's needs and availability) with an opportunity for growth and advancement.
Please note: We understand that people belonging to marginalized groups, including women and people of colour, are often less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every single qualification. It is important to us that these voices and perspectives are represented at all levels in our team. We recognize that the formal qualifications outlined above may exclude people who may in fact be perfect for the job.
If you are interested in applying for this role, but you are not sure if your competencies and work history align perfectly with what is listed in the job description above, we encourage you to apply anyway.