The Safer Foundation is a social service provider to individuals with arrest and conviction records. Through a full range of services, including case management, educational instruction and advocacy, we focus on preparing individuals for the world of work by helping them find and keep productive and meaningful employment.
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Safer Foundation seeks a dynamic, talented and motivated Community Organizer and Outreach Coordinator to develop leadership skills and build long-term power among those with arrest and conviction records, and engage local allies in support of persons with records. This position plays a key role working directly with those impacted by violence as a component of Safer's overall community engagement and violence reduction strategy.
We aim to reduce barriers to reentry, restore the rights of persons with records, open the doors to opportunities for career advancement and protect communities from violence through targeted intervention programs including education, training and employment. Additional responsibilities include serving as a liaison for Safer in setting up visits for the Safer Mobile Services Unit to various Chicago and surrounding communities, conducting client outreach, developing referral sources and building relationships with the directly impacted and key stakeholders in the community.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Lead relationship-building and cultivate meaningful collaborations with other justice involved and violence prevention organizations.
Facilitate trainings for clients in coalition-building, communicating with policy makers, and leveraging media and social media for policy change.
Build, cultivate and maintain networking opportunities and act as liaison to potential partners for the purposes of enhancing and/or increasing employment, training, and violence prevention services in the area.
Work in concert with other policy and direct service groups to become vehicles for systemic change through assistance in identifying policy priorities, developing appropriate implementation strategies, mobilizing individuals with criminal records and their families, and undertaking advocacy efforts.
Create a safe space for persons with records and those at-risk of violence, develop a critical power analysis, identify issues of common concern, and develop strategies to address these issues.
Develop and distribute information to the statewide field (employers, policymakers, direct service providers, the directly impacted, and their families) regarding programs and policies concerning violence prevention, reentry, workforce development and justice reform.
Leverage the relationships and trust developed with clients to intervene at strategic points, such as resolving conflicts, averting job separations, and re-engage while working closely with case managers.
Identify those with arrest and conviction records, those at-risk of experiencing violence, and intervene in their lives, working with Safer program case managers to aid in solving current problems and preventing future ones.
Serve as linkages and support for individuals to enhance their assistance and use of opportunities and Safer programs in the community.
Develop networks with other outreach program workers to coordinate strategic responses to violence.
Create opportunities for directly impacted individuals to share their stories.
Recruit and manage volunteers and Safer Policy Advocates and Alumni.
Participate in other organizational activities and events as needed.
Conduct client outreach in high concentration areas of returning citizens and people with records.
Develop and market new and maintain existing referral sources in the surrounding communities frequented by clients, including keeping open lines of communications with Parole and/or Probation officials, community-based organizations, employers, business associations, and other institutions as appropriate to meet agency goals and objectives.
Utilize a variety of channels for outreach, including face-to-face interviews, phone calls, mailings, presentations, and public relations activities to build a positive presence in the communities served.
Coordinate scheduled visits for the Safer Mobile Service Unit within various Chicago and surrounding communities.
Routine assignments and special projects are completed as required.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Minimum of two years' experience in community engagement/education, adult training/education, outreach, or advocacy
Cultural competency and sensitivity to diverse cultures, backgrounds, and communication styles
Strong presentation and public speaking skills
Comfortable educating or shifting views of stakeholders with existing biases, especially those with high levels of authority (e.g. federal agents, state politicians)
Keen ability to work independently, show initiative, and take ownership
Ability to travel up to 25% of the time domestically
Candidates should be able to work flexibly, adaptively, and creatively, and have a passion for our mission to help individuals with records gain employment
Education and Experience:
Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
Strong verbal and written communication skills
Must have excellent computer and record-keeping software skills
Must have valid drivers' license and reliable transportation
About Safer Foundation
Safer Foundation is a national leader in prisoner re-entry and employment programs. A nonprofit organization based in Chicago, Safer was founded more than 45 years to help people leaving prison find jobs so they could successfully transition back into their communities. But people with criminal records faced a stigma that made securing employment difficult.The situation is even more dire today, especially in the United States. Despite accounting for only 5 percent of the world population, the U.S. leads the world with its incarceration rate. And an overwhelming majority of individuals returning from prison face more complex challenges to getting and keeping a job. This means the services Safer Foundation provides are even more important. In fact, we know, and an abundance of research has shown, that the most difficult barrier—and the single-most crucial factor—to successful reintegration is a job. When our clients find jobs, they become valuable contributors to their families and their communities, while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.Re-entry is now recognized as an important issue that has captured our nation's attention and support, and Safer Foundation is proud to be a leader in the discussion and advocacy efforts occurring on the local, state and national levels.