Hob: Community Responder

Town of Amherst

4 Boltwood Avenue
Amherst, MA 01002

Company Description:
Salary Range:Location:
$45k - $48k Per Year AMHERST, MA
Job Type:Category:
Full TimeGovernment/Public Service
Education Level:Work Experience:
High School or Equivalent
Preference: Nice to have

Preference: Nice to have
The Town of Amherst Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service (CRESS) Department is seeking individuals to work as part of a team of alternative safety providers that respond to nonviolent community calls with an emphasis on approaching community members through an anti-racist and behavioral health lens.

The Community Responder works as part of a team of alternative safety providers that respond to nonviolent community calls with an emphasis on approaching community members through an anti-racist and behavioral health lens either in-person or by telephone. Community Responders will be the first responders to situations that don’t involve violence or serious criminal activity such as mental health issues, homelessness, substance abuse, trespass, truancy, wellness checks, youth, and schools. Position requires the ability to work flexible hours, including nights and weekends.

- Major Duties -
• Respond in person or by phone to requests for assistance with individuals experiencing issues with mental and behavioral health, inebriation, homelessness, addiction, chronic mental illness, minor disputes, and other issues that do not require police or EMT response. Connect community members in need with available social services.
• Work collaboratively with other responders and other community service providers to mediate and de-escalate conflict and dispute situations; work effectively in crisis situations and in sometimes stressful conditions.
• Build trust and confidence in CRESS among BIPOC, low-income, and other marginalized populations including modeling a social justice, anti-racism approach to situations; build positive relationships with community members with frequent needs for emergency services; provide pro-active, preventative services where feasible.
• Initiate supportive follow-up with community members who have received emergency services.
• Collaborate with others to improve the quality and success of the CRESS program.
• Complete all reports in an accurate and timely manner and enter appropriate data promptly.
• Performs similar or related work as required.
- Desired Minimum Qualifications -
Two to three years of lived experience with emphasis on social services, marginalized populations in need of services, or other closely related field; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. The ability to speak multiple languages is preferred but not required.

Exceptional communication skills (both orally and in writing), de-escalation and mediation skills, are required. Capability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, supervisors, other agencies, program participants, community leaders, the media, and the general public is essential; capacity to analyze and interpret job requirements and carry out assigned projects to their completion; aptitude to assess crisis situations and intervene appropriately utilizing knowledge of community resources is required. Skill in following verbal and written instructions is necessary; ability to handle stressful situations and effectively deal with difficult or angry people is crucial.

The ideal candidate will possess:
• Experience working with diverse populations;
• Expertise or lived experiences in cultural awareness, respect, and responsiveness;
• Knowledge of, or ability to learn and practice, trauma informed principles and practices;
• Knowledge of crisis intervention and conflict resolution techniques;
• Considerable knowledge of related state and federal programs, laws and regulations;
• Considerable knowledge of mental health and social justice program design and evaluation;
• Proven ability to prioritize racial justice while building positive working relationships with people of all backgrounds