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Youth Outreach and Engagement Coordinator

RHY | Royal Oak, MI | Full Time

Job Description

Title: Youth Outreach and Engagement Coordinator

About Lighthouse

Lighthouse MI is a growing non-profit, established in 2019 when Lighthouse of Oakland County and South Oakland Shelter joined forces to offer a stronger collective response to poverty in our Metro Detroit community. With over 80 years of combined experience, Lighthouse serves as a beacon of hope to our neighbors who need it most by offering assistance with emergency basic needs alongside housing programs and supportive services designed to support long-term economic stability. Lighthouse owns and operates Spero Housing Group, a subsidiary non-profit dedicated specifically to developing and operating high quality affordable and supportive housing for persons of low and moderate income, as well as HandUp, a community and crowdfunding platform serving 100+ homeless service agencies and their clients across the United States.

Position Summary

The Youth Outreach and Engagement Coordinator helps organize, lead, and grow efforts to connect with and support young people, ages 10-24, who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of running away. As part of Lighthouse’s Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) team, this position helps develop and implement effective outreach and promotional strategies to identify and engage youth who may be in need of services, resources, and support. Through outreach and engagement, this role works to help youth stay safe and connect to needed services, including facilitating homelessness prevention strategies wherever possible.

This position also helps create and implement a diverse array of youth empowerment and engagement opportunities to build community connections and promote youth leadership capacity. This includes coordinating a Youth Advisory Board, planning activities and events, and promoting community partnership building and awareness of resources for youth. This position will spend much of their time in the field and will have office space at Royal Oak or Pontiac locations. This position is full time at 40 hours/week.

Responsibilities & Duties

Youth Outreach

  • Provide youth with street- and event-based services, such as basic needs items and emergency referrals, while building a trusting rapport with youth through Positive Youth Development, trauma-informed, culturally-competent, and harm reduction approaches.

  • Conduct mobile street outreach – working in pairs whenever possible – through various means to canvass areas where unaccompanied youth frequent, including recreation centers, libraries, transit centers, parks, malls, and other locations.

  • Create and maintain regular digital youth outreach strategies, including creating content for social media, podcasting, and other means to promote Lighthouse services for youth and young adults.

  • Work with department leadership to establish and grow community-based youth outreach efforts through participation in various community events such as festivals, school fairs, resource-sharing events, and tabling opportunities.

  • Provide crisis intervention, safety planning, and appropriate support to youth in emergency situations, including youth experiencing human trafficking, domestic violence situations, immediate shelter needs, and mental health crises.

  • Continuously evaluate outreach locations, strategies, and needs of youth for ongoing quality improvement to ensure provision of effective outreach interventions.

Youth Engagement

  • Create regular youth-focused activities and events to promote Lighthouse’s brand and create awareness among young people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness in the community.

  • Work in coordination with the RHY Case Managers to facilitate connection to needed services and youth empowerment opportunities, including short-term counseling, employment/job readiness planning, educational planning, and life skills training.

  • Develop, organize, and coordinate a local Youth Advisory Board composed of young people with lived experience of homelessness to promote youth voice, representation, and leadership for informing community planning efforts and service delivery.

  • Lead Youth Advisory Board recruitment and engagement efforts, including serving as the main point of contact for youth participants, facilitating meetings and events, and supporting the development of youth-driven strategies and objectives in pursuit of efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness.

Partnership Development and Capacity Building

  • Play an active role within the local Continuum of Care (CoC), including helping unaccompanied youth connect to Coordinated Entry, partnering with outreach teams, participating in care coordination meetings, and staying abreast of CoC meetings, events, policies, and processes.

  • In coordination with department leadership, identify and develop outreach and engagement partnership opportunities with organizations and locations where at-risk and unaccompanied youth frequent.

  • Partner with RHY department leadership to develop, maintain, and expand relationships with schools, police, health providers, churches, and other community groups who might provide services or referrals to Lighthouse youth programs.

  • In partnership with department leadership, develop and provide training, presentations, and educational materials to community partners and stakeholders who come in contact with homeless and at-risk youth.

Other Core Responsibilities

  • Maintain approval to transport clients and provide transportation services as needed.

  • Foster and coordinate inter-agency collaborative solutions and referrals to help clients connect with resources and opportunities to improve safety, meet their goals, and attain long-term stability.

  • Ensure the proper recordkeeping and maintenance of files, including documentation of services and case notes within HMIS in an accurate and timely manner.

  • Maintain accurate documentation of outreach logs, distribution of supplies and assistance, progress notes, referrals, initial screenings, and other program information.

  • Partner with department leadership and Lighthouse’s development team to coordinate outreach and engagement volunteer opportunities and donation needs.

  • Adhere to program rules, policies, and procedures and uphold agency values to maintain a safe, client-centered, and inclusive environment for clients, staff, interns, and volunteers.

  • Assist with youth shelter coverage, answering phones, and crisis calls as needed.

  • Participate in internal and external task-forces and committees working to assist the youth and young adult population.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Lived or professional experience working with people experiencing homelessness or extreme levels of poverty in the US.

  • Associates degree or equivalent experience in a role directly or indirectly related to human/social services and/or youth development.

  • 1-2 years’ experience working in fields of human/social services or youth development.

  • Reliable transportation to transport clients and maintenance of automobile insurance

  • Valid driver’s license, Lighthouse reserves that right to require a driving record check with respect to any employee where driving is an essential function of the position.

  • Knowledgeable in with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Apps,

  • Flexibility and the capacity to prioritize tasks in a rapidly changing environment

  • Ability to multitask effectively in a fast paced environment

  • Ability to work with a challenging and diverse population

  • Ability to work non-traditional hours, including evenings and weekends.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree from a 4-year accredited college or university in a related field or equivalent experience in a role directly or indirectly related to human/social services and/or youth development.

  • 2+ years’ experience working in fields of human/social services or youth development.

  • Previous experience working with unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.

  • An understanding of the social constructs impacting those experiencing economic instability

  • Knowledge of the social services landscape in Oakland County and surrounding areas

  • Knowledge and ability to apply core philosophies and approaches including trauma informed care, Positive Youth Development, Housing First, and harm reduction.

  • HMIS experience

  • Ability to self-regulate and work independently while coordinating with other staff

  • An appetite for innovation and creative problem-solving

  • Proven ability to work effectively with racially and ethnically diverse clients and teams

  • Ability to build consensus and resolve conflict; exhibits willingness to have difficult conversations.

  • Exceptional communication ability, both written and oral.

  • Ability to listen and accept feedback constructively.

  • Possess high emotional intelligence skills.

  • Unwavering personal integrity.

  • Ability to work in a fast paced, demanding, constantly changing environment


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

Physical Demands:

The incumbent typically works in an office environment and uses a computer, telephone and other office equipment as needed to perform duties. The noise level in the work environment is typical of that of an office. Incumbent may encounter frequent interruptions throughout the workday. The employee is regularly required to sit, talk, or hear; frequently required to use repetitive hand motion, handle or feel, and to stand, walk, reach, bend or lift up to 20 pounds. Contact with the public in office environments may risk exposure to irrational/hostile behavior, contagious diseases, or contact with domestic animals. The physical demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.