Engagement Specialist – Young Adult Shelter Services – South Seattle Youth Center – (GRAVE SHIFT)

Posted on July 18, 2023
OPEIU Local 8
 per hour
Seattle, WA
Health insurance, Paid time off, Paid holidays, Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Retirement benefits, Life and disability insurance
Applications accepted until position filled

WORK SCHEDULE: This position is full-time regular and non-exempt. Work schedule varies by program.

AT YOUTHCARE: We value hard work and dedication to helping young people experiencing homelessness move from survival mode into thriving and healthy young adulthood. We also value a sense of humor and respect of each other and the young people we serve. YouthCare serves young people of many racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and religious beliefs, and we seek a workforce that reflects that diversity.

ABOUT YOUTHCARE: YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and empowered to achieve their potential. Founded in 1974, YouthCare was one of the first programs to serve runaway and homeless youth on the West Coast. The goal was to help young people find safety today and build a future for tomorrow. Over four decades, we’ve defined best practices and developed programs that are a national standard for excellence. Using a youth-centered approach, we ensure that young people experiencing homelessness ages 12-24 have the hope, skills, and confidence to gain long-term stability.

COVID vaccinations are mandated at YouthCare.  Employees will be required to submit proof of vaccination or have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation at time of On-Boarding.  Please note:  Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.


POSITION SUMMARY: Under the supervision of the Overnight Shelter Services Supervisor, the Engagement Specialist is responsible for the supervision of 20 shelter guests (ages 18-24) and the nightly management of the program site. In conjunction with other shelter staff, the Engagement Specialist’s task is to create a safe and supportive environment for shelter guests. This role must be comfortable establishing appropriate boundaries, enforcing shelter rules, providing crisis intervention, and attending meetings. Must also have the ability to establish rapport with young people experiencing homelessness who may struggle with chemical dependence or behavioral and emotional challenges.


  • Build trust and rapport with young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability, young people who have experienced sexual exploitation and/or young people who are at risk.
  • Engage, support, coach, and develop young people using healing-centered engagement practices and a strength-based approach.
  • Provide on-site supervision, while maintaining professional boundaries in providing crisis intervention and services to young people. Must learn and apply positive behavior modification techniques and model effective de-escalation, problem-solving and mediation skills. Be willing to intervene in times of crisis using these skills.
  • Complete necessary paperwork and data collection, including intake, enrollment, case notes as needed. Additionally complete incident reports within the required timeframe on any facility damage, medical emergencies or any incident which occurs out of the ordinary functioning of the site.
  • Maintain accurate and timely case records, progress notes, logbooks, and other types of documentation and enter data into YouthCare’s CaseWorthy client management system according to agency standards.
  • Execute Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) tasks and accreditation standards and adhere to all agency policies and procedures
  • Comply with the agency’s mandated reporting requirement and report suspected abuse, neglect, or sexual exploitation of minors within the required timeframe.
  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with all site staff, partners, and volunteers to create a nurturing, dynamic, and constructive environment for young people.
  • Support with coordination of basic needs, inclusion of meals, referrals to systems of support, clothing, etc.
  • Develop and deliver group and individual programming to foster life and social skill development. Programming provides an opportunity for youth and young adults to engage, increase knowledge and skills, and moves young people toward the agency’s four core outcomes - housing stability, financial independence, community support, and wellness.
  • Work collaboratively with other YouthCare programs, families, school district professionals, crisis services personnel, and staff from other agencies in support of youth.
  • Communicate client needs and behaviors to the appropriate staff, and refer young people to appropriate and necessary services, as needed.
  • Oversee the safety and cleanliness of the facility, including disinfecting surfaces and following cleaning protocols. Perform light janitorial work, including vacuuming/sweeping/mopping; taking out trash; and similar tasks, as outlined by site need and agency protocols. Compile maintenance requests and submit to program leadership/maintenance staff as needed
  • Participate in regular supervision, client consultations, and staff and agency meetings. Attend and fully participate in meetings, professional development opportunities, and designated training sessions as required.
  • Act as a professional representative of YouthCare and maintain a professional working environment (office, personal workspace, agency vehicle, etc.).
  • Maintain a flexible work schedule (Filling shifts on some weekends, early and/or late hours) and must be willing to be cross-trained in providing support with shift coverage in an on-call basis for the program and agency, as required by individual program needs.


  • Responsible for overseeing the nightly function of shelter services
  • Develop and deliver group and individual workforce development, engagement, and enrichment programming, as needed.
  • Encourage young peoples’ movement from emergency services to case management, and education and employment programming.
  • Ensure program rules are being consistently enforced, and the nightly operation of the program is within regulatory guidelines and agency treatment philosophy.
  • Oversee and delegate tasks to shelter volunteers.
  • Maintain clear communication with other shelter staff, including attending bi-weekly or monthly meetings.
  • Identify obstacles and support strategies for shelter guests.
  • Assist Shelter Supervisor/Manager in the monitoring of shelter supplies and needs.
  • Participate in the planning and cooking of meals as needed

This job description is not intended to cover every aspect of your job at YouthCare. We are a team that works together to meet the needs of our clients and every member of the team is expected to pitch in and help even beyond the specific responsibilities listed in this description.

QUALIFICATIONS –            


  • High School Diploma or GED.
  • Experience and credentials must comply with program contractual requirements, including but not limited to the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) background clearance process and must be at least 21 years of age.
  • 1 or more years of relevant work experience, OR an equivalent combination of education, relevant work experience, and/or lived experience (4+ years)
  • Ability to stay awake and attentive during shift
  • Ability to accurately maintain and produce files, records, logs and reports.
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries with clients while building trust and respect.
  • Ability to verbally and physically respond to an aggressive person in ways that de-escalate, establish and maintain staff and young peoples’ safety.
  • Ability to develop and lead programming/classes/activities
  • Ability to assume responsibilities or duties within the agency not specifically delineated in this job description for short periods of time or on an infrequent basis.


  • Bachelor’s Degree or four years of successful experience with young people in a crisis or refugees/immigrants.
  • Course work, experience, or training in child or human development, chemical dependency, mental illness, group dynamics, residential treatment, or related experience highly preferred.


  • Must be able to provide I-9 supporting documentation for employment.
  • Ability to provide a negative TB Test (results must be within one-year of hire date).
  • DCYF Clearance must be maintained for entirety of employment when working with under-18 clients.
  • Employees who drive YouthCare vehicles as a requirement for their position, must be at least 21 years of old, possess a valid Washington State Driver’s License, meet minimum safe driver criteria established by the agency and our insurance company which includes completion of Defensive Driving and 15-passenger Van trainings.  Drivers under the age of 25 must have been licensed for at least 3-years and those operating vehicles with a capacity of 15 or more passengers must be at least 25 years old.
  • Ability to obtain a current Food Handler’s Card
  • Successful completion of pre-service trainings as required by contracting agencies.  Trainings such as CPR & First Aid (Adult/Child), Bloodborne Pathogens, and Behavior Management.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with good quality spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Commitment to YouthCare’s initiative to build cultural proficiency across the agency. Acceptance of a variety of lifestyles, behaviors, and cultural and spiritual practices.


  • Ability to perform range of physical motions, exerting up to 50 pounds. Lifting and carrying up to 50 pounds; standing, walking, sitting for long periods of time, kneeling, squatting, and stooping; running for brief periods of time; and go up and down stairs.

BENEFITS: YouthCare provides a competitive benefits package to full time employees including medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, short-term disability, life insurance, 401(k), vacation, paid holidays, and sick leave after successful completion of the 90-day Introductory Period.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT:  YouthCare is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on merit and business needs and YouthCare is committed to recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting qualified people of all backgrounds, regardless of actual or perceived sex; race; color; religious creed; national origin; ancestry; age; marital status; pregnancy; nursing parent status; physical, mental or sensory disability; medical condition; genetic information; sexual orientation; gender (including gender identity or expression); military or veteran status; or any other basis protected by federal, state and/or local laws. People of Color and Members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

About the employer: YouthCare

YouthCare offers a wide variety of career opportunities, including positions in shelter and housing services, engagement and outreach services, homelessness prevention services, employment and education services, case management, counseling, development, and non-profit administration. YouthCare envisions a community where no young person experiences homelessness, all young people have the opportunity to thrive, and the systems that oppress them are dismantled. YouthCare serves young people of many racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and religious beliefs, and we seek a workforce that reflects that diversity.

About your union: OPEIU Local 8

OPEIU Local 8 is a progressive, democratically run union working for social and economic justice since 1945. Local 8 represents more than 6,000 members all over Washington state working in many settings including offices, health and home care, housing, social services, the insurance industry, legal services and the public sector.

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