Job Title: SOAR Outreach Benefits Specialist
FLSA Status: Exempt
OSHA Category: 80/83
Last Revision: November 2018
Reports to: Outreach Director
The SOAR Outreach Benefits Specialist is part of a larger homeless outreach program at Pathways to Housing DC. The homeless outreach program is comprised of public and private partnerships to operate various street outreach teams throughout the city whose goals are to engage, support, and combat homelessness for individuals living in DC. Our outreach staff work to build trust with those experiencing homelessness first by helping to meet basic needs (including food, clothing, showers, laundry, transportation, identification, etc.). Then, they partner with each individual to access housing, employment, benefits, medical care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and other services.
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is a national model that helps improve outcomes for individuals experiencing or at-risk for homelessness who have mental illness and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder or other medical impairments as they apply for Social Security disability benefits. The outreach program uses this model to assist people with disabilities who would have difficulty applying independently for SSI/SSDI benefits in order to increase economic security, support recovery, as well as enhance access to housing and resources.
The SOAR Outreach Benefits Specialist provides direct outreach services in a team environment to people experiencing homelessness and high quality application assistance to individuals applying for disability benefits, using the essential SOAR components. S/he represents Pathways DC to community partners, particularly the SOAR community and provider network. Approximately 75% of time will be spent in the community, identifying potential applicants and directly providing benefits assistance to persons living on the streets in DC. While much of the work is independent and self-directed, there is also a strong team dynamic. Shift schedules normally include hours between 7am-7pm, Monday through Friday but schedules will be flexible to accommodate the needs of the community and may include early morning or evening shifts. Successful candidates are committed to ending homelessness and have a fundamental belief that hope and recovery are always possible.