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Make a difference! We stand for the rights of people that have disabilities....JOIN US!
Individuals who are Deaf or Disabled are encouraged to apply.
Location: Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Ontario, Fresno, Hybrid or Remote Fully (must live in California)
SALARY RANGE (Depending on Experience): $24.97 hr. – $37.92 hr.
We base salary and position offers on experience and an internal equity analysis.
Employment Status: Non-Exempt; Regular; Full time (37.5 hrs)
EXCELLENT BENEFITS including 8% 401k Match,a language differential up to $250/mo. Health (HMO and PPO options), dental, vision, basic life insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance and flexible spending accounts (medical, dependent care and commuter). Additionally, we offer ample vacation, sick/self care leave and eighteen paid holidays (including the last week in December) and more….. We are a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - eligible employer.
Application Deadline: Open until filled.Applications should be received by February 10, 2023 to be considered for the first round of interviews.
WHO WE ARE
Disability Rights California (DRC) defends, advances, and strengthens the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities.
DRC works for a world where all disabled people have power and are treated with dignity and respect. In this world, people with disabilities are supported, valued, included in their communities, afforded the same opportunities as people without disabilities, and make their own decisions.
DRC values all forms of human diversity. We are committed to a culture of belonging where all people are welcome. In order to be effective advocates for all people with disabilities, we must address discrimination in all its forms, including the unique challenges faced by people who experience the intersection of multiple systems of discrimination.
Housing Stability Project
DRC is seeking an Advocate or Senior Advocate to join our Housing Stability Project (“HSP”) team. DRC launched HSP in October 2021 to respond to the anticipated influx of evictions driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim is to prevent the displacement of persons with disabilities, particularly those in low-income communities and communities of color, and empower individuals to advocate for their rights as tenants. HSP operates primarily on a self-help telephone clinic model to assist people with disabilities throughout California on issues impacting their housing. Select cases receive representation for negotiations or at administrative hearings to preserve income or housing. We also work with unhoused people to identify needed services and overcome accessibility barriers.
HSP works in accordance with community lawyering principles: we take a cross-disciplinary approach to helping clients overcome barriers to housing stability, and we have social workers as part of our legal team at DRC. In addition to direct work with clients, we are adopting a multi-pronged approach by providing Know-Your-Rights training, workshops, advocating with government agencies and housing providers to improve access, and forming strategic partnerships with other service providers (including local legal aids) and community groups to leverage our resources and maximize the number of people we can assist.
We are a diverse and collaborative team that values flexibility, adaptability, and innovation in a legal landscape that has been significantly changed by the pandemic.
PURPOSE OF THE JOB
The Advocate (or Senior Advocate, depending on experience) will handle client cases from intake to case conclusion in close partnership with the attorneys and social workers on the team. The direct client work will range from providing advice (under the supervision of an attorney) to representing clients in administrative hearings/complaints. Non-client work includes community outreach, Know-Your-Rights trainings, legal clinics, and policy advocacy. The goal of our work is to provide individualized help to prevent homelessness and combat systemic housing stability issues while meeting federal and state grant requirements.
The Advocate or Senior Advocate works under the direct supervision of one of the Supervising Attorneys for HSP and in collaboration with other Disability Rights California attorneys, advocates, and social workers in our legal, advocacy, and outreach efforts.
The HSP Advocate essential functions include:
Assist Clients – 80%
- Conduct statewide intakes on housing-related issues, including unlawful detainers, housing discrimination complaints, sub-standard conditions, and other legal issues that impact housing stability.
- Maintain and manage an individual caseload with varying levels of service, including counsel and advice, brief services, negotiation, and representation.
- Collaborate on creation of self-help and self-advocacy tools for a variety of legal matters with an emphasis on housing related matters, including sample answers, demand letters, and other materials that a potential client can use to help maintain their housing.
- Identify systemic problems that affect our clients’ housing rights and address these challenges through collaborations with other practice groups within DRC.
- Other duties as assigned by supervising attorney.
Community-Based Advocacy – 20%
- Engage in community lawyering practices with clients with disabilities, particularly clients experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
- Organize and participate in community-based legal clinics. This can include working with various community-based organizations to develop and schedule clinics, working within Disability Rights California to staff the clinics, attending legal clinics, and providing clients with information and advice at in-person legal clinics.
- Collaborate on the design and presentation of trainings on various disability-related housing topics for service providers and the public.
- Develop and build relationships with community leaders with a focus on working with underserved communities (which includes language or ethnically distinct communities, rural communities, LGBTQI+ communities, individuals who live in facilities, and people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness).
- Other duties as assigned by supervising attorney.
- Bachelor's (BA or BS) degree in a related field from four-year college OR equivalent combination of experience and/or training. (Typically, 2-3 years of experience for Advocate; 6 years of experience for Senior Advocate).
- Knowledge and experience to provide proficient client contact, data collection, and oral presentation skills.
- Demonstrated ability to interview people in a variety of methods including on the phone, via video tele-conference, in-person, or over email.
- Strong organizational skills and an ability to independently manage multiple tasks and deadlines in an efficient and timely manner.
- Ability to listen to and synthesize information in a clear manner and to communicate information to individuals in a variety of formats depending on the clients’ needs.
- Strong professional written communication skills.
- Experience working with people across a variety of backgrounds in the community, including individuals from language or ethnically distinct communities, people with disabilities, people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, elderly populations, and a variety of socioeconomic groups.
- Cultural humility and sensitivity toward intersectional issues.
In addition to the above, the minimum qualifications for Senior Advocate include:
Expertise and proficiency in housing law issues and demonstrated client management skills.
- Demonstrated ability to lead client groups, organize client events, and work with clients in innovative ways.
- Demonstrated ability to develop training materials, self-advocacy materials, or training modules.
- Experience in presenting or training in front of varied and diverse audiences.
- Familiarity with laws affecting, rights of, and services for people with disabilities.
- Familiarity with various housing discrimination and other housing related laws, including evictions.
- Experience in community organizing or development.
- Experience working directly with the public in a high-volume setting
- Experience working in a legal setting
- Paralegal certification
- Crisis intervention and/or trauma-informed advocacy
- Ability to communicate fluently in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, or American Sign Language.
- Life experience as a person with a disability OR direct experience as a caregiver of a family member with a disability.
Occasional travel required: Ability to travel occasionally for activities such as out-of-town meetings, training, or outreach activities up to 25% of the time.
High speed internet connection is required to work for us.
The following describes general working conditions and requirements of the job, which can be performed with or without disability-related reasonable accommodations. Duties are performed between an office environment and the field in a wide range of settings, including health care facilities; in client, group, or family homes; community agencies; or in community-based outpatient settings. Work areas are often noisy. Duties frequently require sitting, talking and/or hearing and occasional periods of standing, stooping, kneeling, and crouching. Weights to be lifted and/or moved up to 10 pounds are frequently encountered. Must be able to transport oneself to the work-related meetings, centers, etc.
If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following:
1. Online Disability Rights California Application Form
2. Your resume
3. Cover Letter: We need a workforce that can utilize insights and strategies that can come from both professional and personal experience. In your cover letter, please tell us about yourself and why you are a great fit for this position and for DRC.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
At Disability Rights California, we value diversity among our employees because unique perspectives allow us to effectively serve Californians with disabilities from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (over 40), Disability (mental and physical), sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military and veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.
Disability Rights California endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations.