Problem Solving Specialist
Job Details
Los Angeles Street - Los Angeles, CA
$38,000.00 - $42,000.00 Salary/year
Nonprofit - Social Services


Problem-Solving (also known as "Diversion" or "Rapid Resolution") is a crisis response philosophy and approach focused on supporting individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis to quickly identify and access alternative housing resources outside of the homeless crisis response system. By practicing active listening skills through creative conversations, Problem-Solving supports the individual or family in crisis to identify viable temporary or permanent housing resources within their own networks or resources, such as family or friends. In select cases and as a last resort, limited and one-time financial assistance can enhance an individual or family's success in rapidly connecting to alternative temporary or permanent housing. This position works in close collaboration with the rest of the Health and Wellness team to empower women to achieve and maintain personal stability.

Ideal Candidate

Do you like brainstorming? Do you have the ability to think outside the box in a tight timeline? Can you be objective and optimistic at the same time? Are you a great listener? Does empowering people to solve their problems make you happy? If your answers are yes, we are looking for you!

Join our team and be the all-star problem solver who will directly engage with clients and households and help them identify an alternative to their homelessness or housing crisis.

Essential Functions

  1. Meet each participant and learn about their dynamics, communication style, and cultural factors
  2. Ask open ended and difficult/personal questions
  3. Utilize active listening and motivational interviewing with participants
  4. Identify safety or health issues that may need to be considered during identification of housing
  5. Find options outside the homeless services system regardless of time homelessness, family size, mental health or substance abuse issues, etc.
  6. Provide mediation between households and property owners/family/friends to assist in resolving housing crisis
  7. Partner with legal service providers to resolve housing crisis
  8. Provide support to participants in the field
  9. Acquire resources and make successful referrals, including effective follow up to ensure the participant was able to access the resource
  10. Negotiate terms of agreements between participants and host, I.e. actively seek employment, attend to medical/mental health/substance abuse issues, complete household chores weekly, etc.
  11. Ensure that all services are documented (e.g. face to face, phone and collateral contacts) in a timely and thorough manner
  12. Assist in budgeting with participants, and determine what level of minimal assistance is necessary to be successfully housed or have housing crisis resolved
  13. Continuous try of new approaches/solutions
  14. Empower participants to utilize their own strengths
  15. Remain empathic while staying on task
  16. Attendance in trainings and learning collaboratives.
  17. Provide back-up case management support as needed
  18. Support the enhancement of policies and procedures of the case management program
  19. Track outcomes and monitor progress against meeting program goals.
  20. Develop and maintain relationships with clients, staff and local service providers, participate in community meetings pertaining to services benefiting clients, and serve as a representative of DWC at community events
  21. Provide regular, written reports to supervisor and additional reports as assigned
  22. Other duties as assigned to support the mission of the organization

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Competencies (i.e., Flexibility, Communication Proficiency, Budget Management, Relationship Management)

  1. Trauma-Informed
  2. Organized
  3. Empathic
  4. Relationship Management
  5. Resourceful

Supervisory Responsibility
This position does not have supervisory responsibilities.

Work Environment
This job operates in a Day Center Drop In setting. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.

Physical Demands
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.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and ability to adjust focus. This would require the ability to lift files, open filing cabinets and bend or stand on a stool as necessary.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work
This is a full-time position. Days and hours of work are: Monday through Friday 8.00 am to 4:30 pm

No travel is expected for this position.



Required Education and Experience 

  1. Bachelor’s degree in social work or related field preferred; master’s degree a plus
  2.  1 – 3 years’ experience working with individuals/families experiencing homelessness or imminently at risk.
  3. Knowledge of HMIS
  4. Knowledge and experience working with co-occurring populations (chronic health conditions, mental health and substance abuse)
  5. Knowledge and experience with motivational interviewing, evidence-based practices, including trauma informed care framework
  6. Understanding of Housing-First model of housing, harm reduction and homeless services within the service area
  7. Strong belief in growth mindset, self-determination, and psychological resilience
  8. Compliance with information and security policy and procedures
  9. Bilingual in Spanish is a plus
  10. Counseling experience preferred
  11. Must have valid CA Driver’s License and a clean driving record
  12. Proof of TB testing 

Required Knowledge/Skills/Position Qualifications

  1. Strong knowledge of the complexity of poverty and women’s homelessness, mental illness, trauma, substance abuse, and health issues
  2. Able to solve problems by being resourceful and using creativity
  3. Strong interpersonal, written and oral communication skills; proven ability to communicate with diverse audiences
  4. Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities, including proficiency in balancing direct service responsibilities with effective record keeping
  5. Detail-oriented, highly organized, able to manage multiple tasks and priorities, and set and meet goals and deadlines
  6. Strong administrative skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook) required
  7. Current valid California state driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle with good driving record preferred 
  8. Oral and written fluency in Spanish strongly preferred

Downtown Women’s Center provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to their race, color, religion, genetic information, national origin and ancestry, sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, pregnancy, military and veteran status or medical condition.  In addition to federal law requirements, Downtown Women’s Center complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Other Duties 

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 


Medical: Kaiser and Blue Shield

Dental: MetLife

Vision: EyeMed
Basic Life and A&D/Voluntary Life and AD&D: MetLife

Voluntary Chiropractic & Acupuncture: Landmark

Pet Insurance: United Pet Care

Long Term Disability (LTD): MetLife

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): MetLife