Relief, Awake Shelter Support Worker - Overnight Trauma Counsellor

Job city: 
Job region: 
Greater Toronto Area
Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 20, 2017 - 11:00pm
Job terms: 


YWCA Toronto is an association of diverse and caring women dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through dynamic leadership, advocacy and a range of unique and essential services that promote personal growth and economic independence.

1st Stop Woodlawn Shelter, funded by the City of Toronto, provides 56 shelter beds to women including 28 beds for young women from ages 16 to 25. This includes Second Stage Supportive Housing for women not ready for independent living. The Housing program provides advocacy referral and support to residents in the shelter and to those who have moved into the community. The Transitional Support program provides aftercare to residents and their children through group work, counselling and connecting women to supports. The Rent Supplement Program provides housing and support to women with mental health issues.

As a specialist in the area of trauma support, the Awake, Relief Shelter Support Worker – Overnight Trauma Counsellor works with women and children within a collaborative team to provide meaningful and relevant services within a feminist framework that includes a working knowledge of the dynamics and effects of trauma, mental health and oppression. She acts as a resource to staff and clients in the area of housing, legal, education, employment, mental health and is responsible for working collaboratively with women and their children to establish a plan which will facilitate a safe and effective path to independence.


Reporting to the on-site Manager responsible for the shelter, the Awake, Relief Shelter Support Worker – Overnight Trauma Counsellor’s responsibilities include:

  • Applies knowledge of the issues of trauma and the dynamics of woman abuse to develop and implement effective support strategies
  • provides orientation to new participants to ensure familiarity and understanding of programs, staff and community environment
  • conducts intake meetings and assessments to identify participant’s needs, provides information and referrals in the areas of health, sexuality, counseling, conflict resolution, housing, employment, education, immigration, income alternatives, and social assistance matters
  • provides daily support services to participants (e.g. weekly allowance, bus tickets/taxi vouchers, first aid, long-distance calls and assists with completion of forms and statements)
  • liaises with professionals and agencies in the community to facilitate access to services by the participants
  • researches, creates and obtains material including relevant legislation, to address the needs of participants
  • develops safety plans with participants
  • works with participants individually and/or in groups to develop and improve social and living skills by assisting them to set goals, follow through on plans, recognize options and make positive choices
  • facilitates participants meetings to evaluate programs, determine emerging needs and to encourage a co-operative living environment
  • provides social and recreational culturally diverse programming to address issues of isolation and to build community
  • uses mediation and counselling skills to encourage and maintain a co-operative, supportive and productive environment for the community
  • engages with the staff team in reflective practice, to ensure the development and implementation of quality programs and services
  • maintains, records, compiles program statistics and prepares reports and correspondence
  • shares responsibility for the safety, security and cleanliness of the shelter
  • other duties as required


You will have:

  • In-depth knowledge of an academic discipline normally acquired through completion of a clinically supervised undergraduate degree (e.g. BSW); an analytical framework that identifies clients' relationships to social systems and the demonstrated practical application of this framework
  • completion of workshops and courses pertaining to trauma
  • 1 to 3 years’ experience in client centered counselling focused on trauma issues with clients at risk and/or homeless women
  • completion of Toronto Hostel’s Training Certificate (T.H.T.C.) is an asset
  • demonstrated knowledge of harm reduction principles and practice
  • demonstrated knowledge of community resources and supports focused on trauma
  • in-depth knowledge of the dynamics of woman abuse and trauma within an anti-oppression framework
  • demonstrated experience in the development, delivery and evaluation of workshops and groups
  • understanding of the obstacles homeless women face and experience
  • experience delivering culturally sensitive services in a multicultural environment
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • proficiency in Microsoft Word, e-mail and the Internet
  • knowledge and understanding of mental health, substance use/addictions, advocacy, refugee and immigration issues and homelessness
  • Life Skills Certificate an asset
  • a certificate in trauma counselling would be an asset
  • knowledge of a second language and/or culture would be an asset

Core Competencies: The employee will:

  • Engage in a self-reflective and collaborative practice that is non-judgmental, compassionate and reflects the mission of YWCA Toronto
  • incorporate principles of anti-oppression and equity in responding to the service needs of women and children and work toward removing systemic barriers to independence and wellbeing
  • demonstrate respect, consideration and acceptance of the opinions of others while expressing her own expertise and effectively utilizing relevant resources and specialists
  • consistently collaborate with team members, sharing ideas and differences openly
  • be receptive to new ideas and adapt to change as necessary
  • value the contribution of others and take action to strengthen partnerships and support others to achieve effective outcomes
  • take action to avoid or solve problems and create opportunities for positive change
  • demonstrate commitment to ongoing personal and professional development

The hours of work for these positions are varied, as needed. The hourly rate for this position is $21.99 per hour.

Please note: A police reference check is required by the successful candidate prior to hiring. YWCA is a unionized workplace. Staff are represented by CUPE Local 2189. This position is not within the Bargaining Unit.

How to apply:

Submit your cover letter and résumé by Monday, November 20, 2017 to:

Ertha Downey, Manager of 1st Stop Woodlawn Shelter
YWCA Toronto
80 Woodlawn Avenue East
Toronto, ON, M4T 1C1


Please quote JOB ID number STOP0023 and your name in the subject line.

YWCA Toronto promotes the principles of anti-oppression and adheres to the tenets of the Ontario Human Rights Code. We encourage applications from women of all races, ethnic origins, religions, abilities and sexual orientations. YWCA Toronto provides workplace accommodation during all parts of the hiring process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. If contacted, please advise us if you require any accommodation. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone enquiries please.

YWCA Toronto is a scent free environment.
Posting Date: November 7, 2017

Thank you to all applicants; however, only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.