Shelter Client Advocate Program Directing Attorney
The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) seeks a Directing Attorney for our Shelter Client Advocate Program to assist our team in fighting for the rights of San Francisco's unsheltered residents through direct advocacy and policy work. As the Directing Attorney you will play a key role in furthering our work to preserve and protect the dignity and basic human rights of San Franciscans residing in city shelters.
At present, and until further notice, EDC is largely operating in a remote fashion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SCA staff work in the field at city shelters and from home. EDC provides employees with the necessary IT equipment and remote access to work from home. Some administrative and program staff are working on site at our offices. EDC’s COVID-19 Safety Plan adheres to the CDC’s health and safety guidelines and the federal OSHA requirements for workplace safety. As Shelter in Place orders change, regular onsite, in office work will be required.
Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) is the only legal services organization in San Francisco solely focused on eviction prevention. EDC’s goal is to prevent displacement, stabilize communities, and ensure housing equity in San Francisco. Formed in 1996 as the primary clearinghouse for tenants filing initial responses to unlawful detainer law suits (UD), EDC has developed an effective, client-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive triage clinic model to process the high volume of clients through our daily, open door clinic model. We offer legal services in response to an eviction, tenant rights education, rental assistance, and advocacy for clients residing in city shelters, all under one organizational umbrella. EDC prides itself on being the safety net for San Francisco tenants, serving tenants regardless of income, immigration status, or neighborhood.
EDC’s Shelter Client Advocate (SCA) program works with the residents of homeless shelters funded by the City and County of San Francisco. The program’s most important function is to preserve and protect the dignity of shelter residents by invoking their due process rights and serving as their advocates during shelter hearings. San Francisco provides a formal grievance process, including internal and external hearings for being those denied services or being evicted from City funded shelters. The SCA program monitors the conditions at shelters, ensures transparency in proceedings and advocates to enforce safety regulations, improving the quality of the shelter programs and in turn the quality of life for their residents. This helps prevent abuse of vulnerable shelter clients and preserves basic human rights.
The Shelter Client Directing Attorney (Directing Attorney) is primarily tasked with overseeing Shelter Client Advocates (Advocates) as they represent homeless shelter residents at administrative hearings relating to their shelter residence. Because we strive to be barrier-free and client-centered, the position requires individuals who truly enjoy working with people, have the skills and capacity to respond in an empathetic and respectful way to clients who are often in crisis, and can work effectively in a collegial and fast paced environment
First and foremost, the applicant must profoundly share EDC’s mission and vision of social justice and be able to manage stressful situations with empathy and calm. Below are additional qualifications.
- CA state licensed attorney in good standing. Experience in, administrative hearings, drafting policy/legislation, litigation and/or human rights advocacy a plus
- Strong management and leadership skills, with a minimum of two years of experience supervising two or more direct reports. For example:
- Strong team management skills.
- Strong time management skills.
- Able to delegate effectively.
- Excellent communication (verbal and written), interpersonal, and negotiation skills.
- Strong problem-solving skills.
- Able to handle confidential information with discretion.
- Ability to make quick decisions and exercise good judgment.
- Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously and handle a high volume of activity and be able to work efficiently and effectively under pressure.
- Experience collaborating with and/or supervising individuals with lived experience of homelessness.
- Experience working with very low income communities and unsheltered individuals.
- Lived experience of homelessness is a strength.
- Spanish speaking skills highly preferred. Facility in Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Russian or other third language a plus.
- Must be comfortable working in community settings.
- Must be able to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently.
Duties and responsibilities
Advocacy and Policy Duties (45%)
- Oversee and in coordination with Advocates, manage client assistance requests, and administrative hearings and arbitration calendars.
- Represent shelter clients at administrative hearings and arbitrations.
- Provide clients and other providers information on SCA and any additional appropriate resources.
- In coordination with the Executive Director, act as the primary contact for media on questions regarding San Francisco’s policies and services for its unsheltered population.
- Act as a liaison between SCA and external partners including the City and County of San Francisco, the Coalition on Homeless, and homeless services providers.
- Harness our on-the-ground experience to better-inform policy regarding services to San Francisco’s unsheltered population.
- Along with Advocates, advocate with shelters to solve any conflicts that arise.
- Coordinate education and outreach to shelter clients by Advocates.
- Review (and comment on as appropriate) changes to the shelter system (including the Shelter Grievance Policy) proposed by the city.
- Attend shelter related commission and committee meetings representing EDC.
Supervision and Administrative Duties (45%)
- Oversee program to ensure SCA is meeting all program deliverables including:
- Organizing daily activities based on the program and EDC’s goals.
- Set goals for employees and provide guidance to them as they endeavor to execute them.
- Organize and divide tasks into activities that can be accomplished by team members.
- Communicate and motivate the team while establishing appropriate methods to evaluate and support their job performance.
- In collaboration with the Executive Director and/or Director of Operations and Development to ensure program staff receive professional development training.
- Ensure all data is entered on time and correctly to support program evaluation, outcomes tracking, and reporting to funders.
- Generate policies, procedures, and best practices to meet program deliverables.
- Identify and provide program-specific training to Advocates (e.g. conflict resolution skills)
- Prepare and administer monthly, quarterly, and annual reports and/or program evaluations as required by our contracts with funders and/or at the request of the Executive Director.
- Use Salesforce to monitor cases and staff caseload and prepare reports.
- Assist in managing the program and agency budget.
General Administrative Duties (10%)
- Attend weekly program meetings, monthly agency staff meetings, and relevant supervision meetings. Represent EDC at community meetings/events as required.
- Perform other duties as assigned in furtherance of EDC’s mission.
The EDC salary scale for both union and non-union employees is linked to the salary scale in our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The starting salary for the position is $85,000, depending on experience. For each year of experience above the minimum of two years, the starting salary will increase by $1,000. This is an exempt position. Benefits include:
- Health, dental, vision, long term disability, and short term disability coverage;
- 13 paid designated holidays and 2 floating holidays
- One hour paid lunch daily
- Vacation accrual rate starts at two weeks in the first year of employment and increases to three weeks on the third anniversary
EDC is a 501(c)(3) organization, which qualifies for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
EDC staff are represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW, UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO). This position is not a union position.
The position requires working with individuals during moments of extreme stress and instability. The position also requires the provision of culturally-sensitive and empathetic services. Some evening and weekend work may be required. Furthermore, because of the nature of the work, the employee is expected to be in the office during normal business hours and to communicate with staff regarding whereabouts when elsewhere for meetings or other obligations.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Prolonged sitting/standing.
- Extensive typing/data entry.
- Periodic lifting/carrying/transporting of materials in excess of 40 lbs.
- Close visual acuity to prepare and analyze data, text, and figures.
- Prolonged computer use.
The employee will supervise all Advocates.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
EDC is committed to continually building a diverse and inclusive workplace. We do so because it is the right thing to do, and because we know it makes our work stronger and more effective. We encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. EDC understands and values a workplace with staff from diverse educational backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, races, sex, gender identity and expression, national origin, ages, languages spoken, veteran’s status, skin color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The Eviction Defense Collaborative believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law.
How To Apply
Email Resume and Cover Letter as attachments to email@example.com with “SCA Program Directing Attorney” in the subject line.
EDC is accepting applications through March 31, 2021. Applicants who do not meet all of the qualifications above are encouraged to apply with a cover letter detailing how their relevant experience qualifies them for the position.