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Youth Engagement Specialist

Sasha Bruce Youthwork | Washington, DC | Full Time

Job Description

About Our Organization:

Sasha Bruce Youthwork is one of the largest and most experienced providers of services to youth in Washington, DC. Our mission is to improve the lives of runaway, homeless, abused, neglected, and/or at-risk youth and their families in the Washington, DC area. We achieve this by providing shelter, counseling, life skills training, and positive youth development activities to approximately 1,500 youth and 5,000 family members each year. With more than 30 years of experience meeting the growing needs of DC’s youth and families with innovative programs, Sasha Bruce Youthwork is always willing to listen and ready to help.

Job Summary: 

The SBY Youth Engagement Specialist provides comprehensive services to adolescents and young adults impacted by homelessness and involved in street activities (gangs, violence, drug use/sale and survival sex). Services provided by the youth engagement specialist includes assessments, assistance in case management, referrals, outreach, crisis transportation, daily living services (food, shower, respite), triage counseling, recreational activities, support groups and life skills education classes and activities. The youth engagement specialist coordinates with the Drop-In Center director, case manager and other supporting programs and local agencies to provide short and long term care necessary to meet the wide range of needs related to homeless and disconnected youth.

Duties and Responsibilities:     

  • Manages events in the Drop-In Center and provides concrete support to clients, including preparation and/or service of food, access to shower and laundry facilities, etc.
  • Works in collaboration with other SBY Drop In Center case management staff to coordinate supportive services for clients
  • Handles orientation and intake for individuals seeking assistance
  • Participates in crisis intervention and individual counseling
  • Engagement of youth into program structure, using a trauma-informed, harm reduction philosophy and the principles of positive youth development
  • Provides wellness and recreational engagement activities
  • Facilitates life skills education activities and groups, as assigned
  • Performs reparative interventions as part of a harm reduction approach
  • Facilitates access to daily living needs (food, clothes, hygiene supplies, space to rest)
  • Provides advocacy and information to homeless youth in accessing resources
  • Mediates client conflicts
  • Conducts group facilitation and educational presentations on topics related to sub-populations of homeless youth
  • Conducts street outreach to homeless and street involved young people, as assigned
  • Escorts youth to appropriate services and provides transportation as part of case plan, as assigned
  • Maintains routine administrative responsibilities to include the preparation of correspondence, maintaining files, mail, email, and telephone.
  • Participates in staff trainings, staff meetings and staff group process workshops.
  • Participates in weekly supervision and case conferencing


  • Associates degree in social services or a related field required
  • Bachelor of Social Work or similar degree preferred
  • Minimum of 2 year experience working in a social services setting, OR personal experience with street survival activities (homelessness, gangs, drug economy, sex industry) with three years separation from involvement in these activities. Deep understanding of the relationship between personal experience and professional standards.
  • Understanding of harm reduction philosophy, trauma-informed provision of services and positive youth development strategies;
  • Genuine interest in working with disenfranchised youth and young adults;
  • Flexible schedule - position will require some weekend and evening hours;
  • Bilingual skills (English and Spanish) are a plus; ability to deal with a multicultural and diverse setting desired;
  • Experience working with LGBTQ youth is a plus;
  • Strong communication and organization skills;
  • Dynamic energy, able to multi-task and negotiate multiple demands on attention;
  • Ability to translate positive youth development techniques into practice;
  • Basic understanding of computer and data base systems for managing case records.

Reporting to the Program Director, this is a full-time, non-exempt level position. All candidates are required to possess a valid Driver’s License, pass required DC clearances (and other States as applicable) and provide any additional information regarding previous records.