Full time
GTA, Ontario
Posted 1 year ago

Job Description

As a Shelter Diversion Counsellor for Durham Youth Services your priority is to uphold the organization’s vision to end youth homelessness in the Durham Region. Our mission is to provide programs for at-risk and homeless youth in the Durham Region to prevent homelessness, provide shelter and other opportunities that will support their success and end the stigma of homelessness.

Our values:

  • Collaborative – We work with youth to develop the tools and resources that will enable their success and contribute to a thriving community
  • Connected – We are focused on building and maintaining strong relationships with our partners and our community to support youth.
  • Forward-Thinking – We are dedicated to identifying and implementing innovative and progressive solutions to ending youth homelessness.


This position is for 37.5 hours a week, Monday-Friday, with some flexibility to work occasional evening and weekend hours.

This list is meant to act as a guideline for all duties and responsibilities and as such does not cover every aspect of the position.



  • Be positive, supportive, kind, caring, empathetic, gentle, respectful, and compassionate to all youth, staff, students, volunteers, and other community members
  • Provide unbiased, non-judgmental support to all clients

  • Build positive, professional rapport with clients, staff, volunteers, students, and other members of the community

  • Communicate regularly and openly with the assigned supervisor and the Director of Housing and Outreach Programs as needed

  • Attend all staff or individual meetings that are requested by the Director of Housing and Outreach Programs and/or Executive Director

  • Optimize team performance by contributing to positive and supportive work environment

  • Value diversity by understanding and respecting the practices, customs and values of other individuals and cultures.

  • Learn and uphold the philosophy of the Housing-First mode


  • Provide Shelter Diversion support to all incoming youth calls directed by local shelters, which includes an initial assessment of needs and resources
  • Actively support the Shelter Diversion philosophy being understood and integrated into the agency work with new clients and referrals

  • Establish collaborative relationships with clients, building on their strengths and resources to find housing solutions

  • Work with colleagues and local systems to safely resolve high-risk crisis situations and provide nonjudgmental support for problematic behaviour

  • Communicate regularly with clients and collaterals over the phone and videoconferencing

  • Advocate for client needs by developing and implementing service plans and working with local providers and systems

  • Demonstrate understanding of oppression and marginalization of the homeless

  • Make positive contributions to agency teams, supporting other programs and initiatives

  • Provide case management and life skills training for a set of clients, including housing goals, independent living skills, and the like


  • Using HIFIS/case management software consistently and in a professional manner
  • Keep accurate hard copy files and case notes, including client interactions

  • Have a keen awareness of internal and external resources and advocate for residents throughout various community partners that will benefit and assist clients with their case management plans
  • Learn and uphold a housing-focused philosophy of self-resolution among residents

  • Support the maintenance of an up-to-date resource list (employment, mental health, addiction, etc.)

  • Advocate on behalf of participants on a case-by-case basis with local systems i.e., Child and Family Services, Employment and Income Assistance, Legal Aid, Health, Addictions, Justice, etc.



  • Child and Youth Work diploma, Social Service Worker diploma or related degree such as B.S.W, and knowledge of and sensitivity to the life experiences and needs of youth

  • Minimum two years of related work experience

  • Demonstrated skills, experience and passion working with at-risk, marginalized or street involved youth.

  • Strong counselling skills, including good judgement in emergency and/or crisis situations

  • Demonstrated awareness of diversity and cultural sensitivity, including awareness and comfort level working with youth from the LGBTQ+ community

  • Excellent interpersonal as well as written and verbal communication skills

  • Strong belief in a harm reduction philosophy

  • Computer literacy

  • Proven good attendance record with the capability of maintaining this same standard

  • Ability to acquire Vulnerable Sector Police Clearance

  • Driver’s license in good standing, access to a reliable vehicle and willing to maintain appropriate insurance coverage

What’s in it for you?

  • Health and dental benefits after 3 months probation
  • Feel good knowing you are helping DYS fulfill its mission of ending youth homelessness in the Durham Region
  • Enjoy working for an organization that develops its employees through an internal mentorship program through global leadership initiatives
  • Work for an organization that makes a direct impact in your community through the programs and services for at-risk youth in the Durham region


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