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Advocate or Sr. Advocate

Individuals who are Deaf or Disabled are encouraged to apply.   Office Location: Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, or Remote within California   Salary Range (Depending on Experience):  $23.34 – $37.60 hourly   Employment Status: Regular, Exempt, Full-Time, 37.5 hours   WHO WE ARE Disability Rights California (DRC) is a statewide, non-profit legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities. DRC works to achieve fairness and justice for people with disabilities through individual and impact litigation, state and federal policy and regulatory advocacy, and community education and training.   Housing Stability Project DRC is seeking an advocate to join our new Housing Stability Project (“HSP”) team.  With the anticipated influx of evictions driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, DRC aims to significantly expand our work to prevent the displacement of persons with disabilities, particularly those in low-income communities and communities of color. HSP operates primarily on a proper telephone clinic model to assist people with disabilities throughout California on issues impacting their housing. Our goal is to empower individuals with disabilities to advocate for their rights as tenants. We also work with unhoused people to identify needed services and overcome accessibility barriers. 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 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 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 their legal, advocacy, and outreach efforts. Through a combination of direct client work and collaborative community outreach, the goal is to provide individualized help to prevent homelessness and combat systemic housing stability issues while meeting federal and state grant requirements.     JOB RESPONSIBILITIES The HSP Advocate shares responsibility with other legal and advocacy staff for providing information, referrals, advice, brief service, technical assistance, outreach, training, and limited representation in administrative proceedings to clients on legal matters impacting their housing stability.   The HSP Senior Advocate has experience in one or more substantive issue areas, handles a higher volume of limited representation cases, and provides leadership and mentoring to other Disability Rights California regional office advocacy staff.              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 may impact housing stability.  The majority of intakes will be by telephone, though we aim to explore new technologies for remote intake as well as some limited in-person intakes once we can safely do so. -        Create 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.   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 training on various disability-related legal topics for service providers and the public. -        Develop and build relationships with community leaders with a focus on working in 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.   TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS 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.   WORKING CONDITIONS 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.
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES Essential functions are the job responsibilities an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation. Advocate or Sr. Advocate essential functions include:   Advocate High school diploma or general education degree (GED) and at least 2 years of paid or volunteer relevant experience; Sufficient 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, in person, or over email. -      Strong organizational skills and an ability to 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. Senior Advocate High school diploma or general education degree (GED) and at least 7 years of relevant experience five of those years must be paid.    -      Expertise and proficiency in housing and at least one additional substantive area of disability-related legal rights that DRC regularly provides advocacy or training in lived experience or experience working with persons with disabilities or multi-ethnic communities. -      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.   PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS - Bachelor's (BA or BS) degree in a related field from four-year college OR equivalent combination of experience and/or training. - 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 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.


Submission Deadline: 
November 30, 2021
Organization Information: 
Disability Rights California
1831 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
United States
Phone: 916-504-5910