City of Austin, TX

Homeless Strategy Officer

Location: City of Austin, TX
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City of Austin
Homeless Strategy Officer

About Austin, Texas

This vibrant and dynamic city tops numerous lists for business, entertainment and quality of life. One of the country’s most popular, high-profile and “green” cities, Austin was selected as the “Best City for the Next Decade” (Kiplinger), the “Top Creative Center” in the US (, #1 on the “On Numbers Economic Index” as the fastest growing economy, and #9 on Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers” making the City of Austin the highest-ranking employer in the government services sector.  Austin continues to lead the country with its vision of being the “Most livable city in the country,” emerging as a player on the international scene with such events as SXSW, Austin City Limits, Formula 1, and being home to companies such as Apple, Samsung, Dell, Seton and St. David’s Healthcare. From the home of state government and institutions of higher education to the “Live Music Capital of the World” and its growth as a film center, Austin has gained worldwide attention as a hub for education, business, health and sustainability. From founding through the year 2000, Austin’s population roughly doubled every 20 years. 

Austin City Government

The City of Austin is a progressive, dynamic, full-service municipal organization operating under the Council-Manager form of government. Austin’s mayor is elected from the city at large and ten council members are elected from single-member districts. Terms of the mayor and council members are four years and terms are staggered so that a general election is held every two years with half the council being elected at each election. Term limits for the mayor and council members provide for two consecutive four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for appointment of the City Manager who is the Chief Administrative and Executive Officer of the City, City Clerk, City Auditor, Municipal Court Judges, and the Municipal Court Clerk. 

The Mayor, Council, and City Manager of Austin are committed to their mission of delivering the highest quality services in the most cost-effective manner.

Strategic Outcomes and Indicators

The City Council adopted six Strategic Outcomes and Indicators in March of 2018 as part of its Strategic Direction 2023 to guide the City in improving quality of life and civic participation in the Austin Community over the next three to five years.  The Homeless Strategy Officer reports through the Assistant City Manager for Economic Opportunity and Affordability.   The Homeless Strategy Officer will be responsible for supporting cross-departmental issues and involving external stakeholders as it relates to the six Strategic Outcomes. 

City of Austin Homelessness Initiatives

Homelessness is a key priority for the City of Austin, with nearly 2,000 people on the street or in shelters. The City has allocated $29.4 million in funding for homelessness programs and has made significant efforts and implemented comprehensive programs to address the homelessness population. 

These programs use a collaborative approach that builds on existing resources to address critical gaps in services, with the central principles of self-sufficiency and responsibility.

  • Homelessness Outreach Street Team (HOST) - The Homeless Outreach Street Team or HOST is a new, innovative and collaborative initiative that operates in the Downtown and West Campus area, occasionally assisting other parts of the city to address the needs of people living on the streets. HOST is modeled after similar successful programs that have taken root in other cities in the U.S. 
  • Citywide homeless camp cleanup contract – $1,000,000 has been budgeted for this contract.
  • Alternatives to panhandling and expand community-based services – On August 31, 2017, the City Council passed a resolution directing the City Manager to develop recommendations for engaging the community in alternatives to activities such as "panhandling" with more effective and positive interactions with people experiencing homelessness. The 2019 budget includes $600,000 towards this effort.
  • Coordination of homeless services citywide – The 2019 budget approved $315,000 and 3 positions to coordinate homeless services citywide.
  • Wraparound service program at Austin Public Library- An initiative aimed at assisting the homeless with “wraparound” support services, a collaborative model of engaging individuals with complex needs and meeting them where they are. 

In addition, the City of Austin provides Support Services to assist the homeless in such areas as employment, healthcare, drug abuse, and education.  In addition, several agencies are utilized to provide Emergency Shelter services for temporary or transitional shelter for the homeless, as well as Transitional Housing which provides supportive housing for varying periods of time from six to 24 months. 

Partner Organizations for the Homeless

  • AISD Project Help
  • American Youthworks
  • Any Baby Can
  • Austin Travis County Integral Care
  • Capital Area Alliance for Homeless
  • Caritas of Austin
  • Goodwill Industries of Central Texas
  • House the Homeless
  • Mobile Loaves and Fishes
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Austin
  • SAFE
  • United Way
  • Casa Marianella
  • LifeWorks
  • Salvation Army
  • Blackland Transitional Housing
  • Green Doors
  • ECHO - Ending Community Homelessness Coalition
  • The Challenger-the Street Newspaper
  • Austin Tenant's Council
  • Community Action Network
  • Foundation for the Homeless
  • Texas Homeless Network 

The Position

Under the general direction of the Assistant City Manager for Economic Opportunity and Affordability, the Homeless Strategy Officer coordinates the City’s homeless response activities among multiple departments to ensure a seamless approach and response. 

Duties, Functions and Responsibilities

Essential duties and functions, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include the following. Other related duties may be assigned.

  • Bears responsibility for program policy development, planning, initiatives, and implementation with a lens of racial equity and understanding of the current political landscape, and in alignment with the City’s Strategic Direction.
  • Develops short-, mid-, and long-term prioritized implementation plans to address homelessness aligned with other non-profit efforts with roles and responsibilities defined for all community stakeholders.
  • Improves the identification of people experiencing homelessness, and collect and analyze information about their short-term needs.
  • Plans a continuum of service strategy leading to permanent outcomes from homelessness, by engaging and coordinating with internal and external partners, on both a local and regional level.
  • Develops and maintains collaborative partnerships with City departments, government entities, non-profit and private sector agencies, community-based groups, human services advocacy groups, service providers, clients, and others to co-create program strategies and garner program support.
  • Leads external engagement activities and serves as the liaison to neighborhoods, civic associations, and Council offices.
  • Represents the City as the lead expert on the City's homelessness strategy and investments.
  • Present programs, initiatives, and direction to the City Manager, Mayor, City Council, community groups, and department directors.
  • Develops and implements a results-based accountability model to support current and future program direction. Determines the metrics that define performance, the gaps that exist at individual program levels, and the collective impact of the services provided across homeless service systems.
  • Briefs and advises City management and the Mayor and Council regarding homelessness initiatives matters in person and through written reports. 

Responsibilities - Supervisor and/or Leadership Exercised

  • Responsible for the full range of supervisory activities including selection, training, evaluation, counseling, and recommendation for dismissal. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Must possess required knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience and be able to explain and demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodations, that the essential functions of the job can be performed.

  • Knowledge of business case development, strategic business planning, reengineering, organizational change strategies, performance measurement, and project management.
  • Knowledge of budget preparation and standard general and fiscal planning and administration policies and practices.
  • Knowledge of Federal, State, and Local laws.
  • Knowledge of City practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Knowledge of supervisory and managerial techniques and principles.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of public administration.
  • Skill in oral and written communication.
  • Skill in handling multiple tasks and prioritizing.
  • Skill in using computers and related software.
  • Skill in data analysis and problem solving.
  • Skill in planning and organizing.
  • Skill in handling conflict and uncertain situations.
  • Ability to manage and/ or develop grant funding opportunities
  • Ability to work with diverse populations, groups and staff
  • Ability to consistently, effectively, and tactfully communicate with people at many levels.
  • Ability to analyze and resolve irregular events.
  • Ability to give public presentations.
  • Ability to work with frequent interruptions and changes in priorities.
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with City employees and the public.
  • Ability to work in partnership with stakeholders and constituents.
  • Ability to plan strategically.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with City employees, the public, elected officials, and boards and commissions. 

Education and Experience

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in human services, public administration, business, or related field, plus five (5) years of experience directing human services programs in one of the following areas: homelessness, social services, low-income housing and community development, or administration, including at least two (2) years of experience in a leadership role. 

Licenses and Certifications Required

Valid Texas Class C Driver’s License 

Ideal Candidate

In addition to being ethical, well qualified, and experienced, the Homeless Strategy Officer needs to be a collaborative leader who is skilled at building relationships and teams, as this person will work across the City of Austin enterprise and with external stakeholders.  

The ideal candidate will have successful experience in directing human services programs and show appreciation for the multitude and diversity of communities, perspectives, and values that exist in Austin.  

The ideal candidate should be an innovative leader who implements bold strategies to resolve complex issues and collaborates with diverse teams. 


The City of Austin offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and extensive benefits including a generous pension system. Relocation assistance will be available for a successful out of area candidate. 

How to Apply

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: COAHSO 

Affion Public
2120 Market Street, Suite 100
Camp Hill, PA 17011

The City of Austin is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

*Deadline to receive resumes: May 29, 2019*