Unhoused Community Outreach Specialist

Do you have a passion for service? Are you an Outreach Worker that is dedicated to helping those in the most desperate of need? If yes, Block by Block would like to meet you.

Individuals interested in this role can send resumes to [email protected]

The Unhoused Community Outreach Specialist will identify and support individuals who are experiencing homelessness, or our most vulnerable residents; while working to encourage individuals to seek services through the City of Detroit’s Coordinated Entry System.

As a member of the team, the Community Outreach Specialist will use a housing first approach and trauma-informed and harm reduction practices to build trust-based and create collaborative relationships. The Community Outreach Specialist will respond through outreach efforts toward assisting individuals to overcome barriers toward accessing services, advocate for our most vulnerable population; while connecting them to crucial resources by:

  • Performing outreach efforts offering support to guide anyone in need to local area resources; such as CAM, Basic Needs Sites, Shelter, and additional resources.
  • Assist and collaborate with law enforcement and security to help guide individuals; while creating a safe environment in the downtown business district.
  • Provide additional support on an at-need basis; connection and follow up toward all referrals created, engagement with local COC; meetings, reporting per Block by Block standards, trainings, wellness checks, and general street outreach.


  • Make connections with individuals experiencing homelessness, build trust and assist them toward accessing the services they desire.
  • Provide street and field-based outreach services that shall be conducted in the downtown business district; frequently visiting known areas including but not limited to; local libraries, streets, encampments, basic needs sites, parks, and businesses.
  • Act as the “eyes and ears” for the un-housed/resident visitors, while acting as a liaison between the un-housed community, law enforcement city and local agencies.
  • Ability to remain calm in crisis situations, think well on one’s feet, and promote solutions in a volatile and ever-changing street environment.
  • Cultural competency, able to establish effective professional relationships with culturally and racially diverse staff and clients.
  • Works effectively in a team; while communicating with our Block By Block Ambassadors throughout shift by radio.
  • Advocate and connect people to needed services such as medical, mental health, and substance misuse services.
  • Assist clients with applying for identification documents and other mainstream benefits.
  • May provide diversion and assessment services in the field.
  • Build rapport and utilize motivational interviewing strategies to support vulnerable people moving through the stages of change and accepting an offer of housing
  • Collect information and data and enter into Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and be able to utilize the Coordinated Entry System (e.g. case notes), while maintaining appropriate confidentiality of client information.
  • Collect data and enter data into the SMART SYSTEM per Block By Block policy.
  • Participates in agency events such as the annual Homeless Point in Time Count, case conferences, trainings, and community meetings.
  • Self-motivated, able to take initiative on behalf of agency and clients; while performing all other related duties as assigned.


  • Two to Three years of relevant experience working with individuals who are experiencing homelessness and may have severe and persistent mental health and substance abuse issues.
  • Social Services/Clinician certification/license.
  • Prior experience as an outreach worker or direct line staff working with the homeless.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Wayne County and Out of Wayne County resources; while understanding Wayne County resources for disenfranchised populations.
  • Working knowledge of a broad range of services needed by the population served; mental health, substance misuse, homelessness, crime, at risk populations, marginalized populations.


  • Travel throughout Downtown Detroit Business District, and Wayne County is required; with various modes of transportation; car, bicycle, and Segway.
  • Approachable, friendly and street savvy.
  • Must be able to work outdoors in all conditions with provided inclement weather gear.
  • Works effectively under pressure, effectively as a multi-disciplinary team and independently. Must be trained and be able to manage through crisis.
  • Valid Michigan Driver’s License is required. Reliable transportation a plus.
  • Strong knowledge of computer proficiency and internet research to locate resources for clients out in the field.
  • Must have flexibility to work some evening and weekend hours during scheduled client activities.
  • Operates equipment to include computer, telephone, faxes, copier, and motor vehicle.
  • Lifts and carries up to 25 lbs., requires computer work on a regular basis.
  • Work environment may be noisy and chaotic, high stress and high demand.

Block by Block is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Associate (Preferred)


  • Outreach or Related Field: 2 to 3 years (Required)


  • Driver’s License Required
  • Social Service/Clinician Certification/License

COMMUNICATION: must be able to speak, read, and write the English language in order to create basic reports.

We are proud to offer the following benefits:

  • Insurance: Medical with available FSA and/or HSA, Dental, Vision, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, Life, and Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Critical Illness, and Accident.
  • Paid time off: Vacation, Sick Time and/or PTO (Only where required by local requirements and contract agreements), Paid Leave (only where required by law), Holidays (only where required by contract agreement), Floating Holidays (only where required by contract agreement), Birthday Pay (eligible after one year of service at most locations unless otherwise stated in CBA), Jury Duty (only where required by law).


  • 8 hour shifts
  • Monday – Friday or Wednesday – Sunday

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $30.00 per hour

Expected hours: 40 per week


  • Dental insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Paid time off
  • Referral program
  • Vision insurance

Supplemental pay types:

  • Bonus opportunities

People with a criminal record are encouraged to apply.

Work Location: In person

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