Homeless Strategy Officer
Location: City of Austin, TX Download: City of Austin, TX - Homeless Strategy Officer Brochure
The City of Austin is seeking a highly qualified individual to fill the Homeless Strategy Officer position which reports to the Austin Public Health Director.
The next Homeless Strategy Officer will have several exciting challenges to address and areas of opportunity in which to excel. Among these is the need to prevent and end homelessness in Austin. The successful candidate will be instrumental in driving the department's programs for homelessness, including a focus on health, services, and collaborating with community partners.
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" and culturally dynamic cities, Austin was selected as the "Best City for the Next Decade" (Kiplinger), the "Top Creative Center" in the US (Entrepreneur.com), #1 on the Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #4 on the Best Places to Retire (U.S. News & World Report, 2019), and ranked in the top ten on Forbes list of America's Best Employers for 2017.
Austin is a beacon of sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity; where diversity and creativity are celebrated, where community needs and values are recognized, where leadership comes from its community members, and where the necessities of life are affordable and accessible to all.
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 the Austin Marathon, Rodeo Austin, Austin Urban Music Festival, Blues on the Green, Austin Pride Festival, Austin Trail of Lights, SXSW, Austin City Limits, and Formula 1, and being home to companies such as Apple, Samsung, Dell, Oracle, IBM, and Ascension Seton Health. 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.
The City offers a wide range of events, from music concerts, food festivals, and sports competitions to museum displays, exhibits, and family fun. Austin is also home to a wonderful ballet, world-class museums, one-of-a-kind shopping, and beautiful outdoor spaces. You can just as easily spend your morning paddling the lake as you can strolling through a celebrated history museum.
Located at the edge of the Texas Hill Country -- rolling terrain of limestone bluffs, springs, rivers, and lakes -- Austin's climate is ideal for year-round jogging, cycling, hiking on the City's many trails or swimming at Barton Springs or one of the area's many other swimming holes. There are several excellent golf courses in the area, as well as opportunities for rowing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, rock climbing, disc golf, mountain biking, fishing, and more. Austin has something for everyone.
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.
To learn more about the dynamic City of Austin, visit austintexas.gov.
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 Austin Public Health Department. The Homeless Strategy Officer reports to the Austin Public Health Director, who reports to an Assistant City Manager who oversees the Health & Environment and Culture & Lifelong Learning Strategic Outcome. The Homeless Strategy Officer will be responsible for supporting cross-departmental issues and involving external stakeholders as it relates to the six Strategic Outcomes. For more information, visit Austin Strategic Direction 2023.
Health & Environment Strategic Outcome:
Enjoying a sustainable environment and a healthy life, physically and mentally.
- Healthy conditions among individuals [absence of unhealthy conditions]
- Accessibility to quality health care services, both physical and mental
- Accessibility to quality parks, trails, and recreational opportunities
- Environmental quality
- Climate change and resilience
- Food security and nutrition
The Austin Public Health Department
Every day in every part of our community, public health protects Austin and Travis County residents from infectious diseases and environmental threats and works to reduce communicable and chronic diseases, with a focus on health equity for all residents. Austin Public Health has a staff of 532 FTE's, of which 238 are grant funded. Austin Public Health's total operating budget is $126 million.
Austin Public Health offers:
- Services to help people meet needs across the lifespan, such as immunizations, food, clothing, and assistance with jobs, housing, and provision of birth and death certificates.
- Outreach and education on topics such as diabetes, tobacco cessation, mother-friendly workplaces, and injury prevention.
- Emergency preparedness planning and programs to help people in need during and after natural and human-made disasters.
- Health screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.
- Inspection and permitting of restaurants and food establishments.
- Nutritional support through the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC).
City of Austin Homelessness Initiatives
Preventing and ending homelessness is a key priority for the City of Austin, with nearly 2,000 people estimated to be currently experiencing sheltered or unsheltered homelessness. The City allocates approximately $30 million in funding annually for homelessness programs. In 2018, the City endorsed Austin's Action Plan to End Homelessness and has made significant efforts and implemented comprehensive programs to better address the housing and services needs of people experiencing homelessness and to create stronger outcomes.
These efforts focus on collaborative approaches to use resources efficiently and to address critical gaps in services, with a focus on Housing First approaches and the creation of permanent housing outcomes for people currently experiencing homelessness. These efforts are implemented in close coordination with other partners, including the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), the lead agency for the community Continuum of Care, and many other community-wide initiatives and activities.
The City supports and partners with organizations to provide a full range of programming, including prevention services, emergency shelter, rapid rehousing, and permanent supportive housing. Other supportive services are also provided to assist people experiencing homelessness in such areas as employment, health and behavioral health care, substance use services, and education. The City's innovative efforts include:
- Motel Conversion Strategy - In partnership with Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), the City is purchasing motels as part of our Housing First homelessness strategy. The units will be used as bridge housing initially and will provide privacy and dignity in housing while also offering the stability needed for residents to access the necessary support and medical services needed to begin their path out of homelessness.
- Downtown Austin Community Court - The court operates as a problem solving and rehabilitative court and provides referrals to supportive services for offenders. A majority of the offenses adjudicated through DACC are committed by defendants who are homeless.
- Best Single Source Plus (BSS+) - This program provides comprehensive case management and direct financial assistance to eligible individuals and families in the Austin/Travis County area. The program's primary purpose is to establish housing stability and to both prevent and end homelessness
- Implementing Low-Barrier, Housing-Focused Emergency Shelter Model at ARCH
- Guiding Path - The Guided Path Pilot Project is a pilot initiative to address the encampment outside of the ARCH.
- 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.
- Coordination of homeless services citywide - The 2019 budget approved $315,000 and three 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.
Partner Organizations for Preventing and Ending Homelessness
- AISD Project Help
- American Youthworks
- Any Baby Can
- Austin SAFE
- Austin Tenant's Council
- Austin Travis County Integral Care
- Blackland Transitional Housing
- Capital Area Alliance for Homeless
- Caritas of Austin
- Casa Marianella
- Community Action Network
- Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO)
- Foundation for the Homeless
- Goodwill Industries of Central Texas
- Green Doors
- House the Homeless
- Mobile Loaves and Fishes
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Salvation Army
- Texas Homeless Network
- The Challenger-the Street Newspaper
- United Way
The City of Austin is recruiting for a dynamic, expert leader to guide and lead efforts across multiple City Departments to prevent and end homelessness and to lead its collaborations with private sector, community-based, and faith-based partners. The Homeless Strategy Officer will also lead the City's Homelessness Team, an interdepartmental team of senior leaders and staff, and will engage regularly with other leaders and elected officials in Austin and the State of Texas.
Under the general direction of the Austin Public Health Director, the Homeless Strategy Officer coordinates the City's homeless response activities among multiple departments to ensure a seamless approach and response.
Education and Experience
The following are the minimum qualifications required for the Homeless Strategy Officer:
- Education: Graduation with a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in human services, public administration, business, or related field
- Experience: Five (5) years of experience directing human services programs in homelessness, social services, low-income housing and community development, or administration, including at least two (2) years of experience in a management capacity.
- Graduation with a Master's degree from an accredited college or university may substitute for non-management experience up to a maximum of two (2) years.
The 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.
Salary is commensurate based on experience and the approved salary range. The benefits package includes medical, dental and vision coverage, life insurance, compensated leave, short-term disability, and retirement benefits. The City is a member of the Proportionate Retirement Program. Optional benefits include supplemental life insurance, a 457 deferred compensation plan, long-term disability plan, and a legal plan. Visit austintexas.gov/department/active-employee-benefits to learn more about the City's employee benefits.
Reasonable relocation benefits will be provided to the successful candidate.
How to Apply
Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume for consideration by September 22, 2020 to:
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033
The City of Austin is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer