Domestic Violence Advocate

YWCA of Greater Portland | Portland, OR

Posted Date 3/07/2023

Domestic Violence Advocate

Applications to:

Include job title in the subject line

Position Overview

Do you believe that knowledge can support change and improve a life? Are you passionate about helping people achieve their goals? Are you a team builder who understands that many hands achieve great things? The YWCA of Greater Portland provides shared housing to domestic violence survivors through our Communities of Restoration and Healing (CORH).  In this role, you will be a certified Peer Support Advocate helping survivors on your case load with healing, recovery, and self-sufficiency. You will contribute significantly to the YWCA’s mission by using your own experience to walk with program participants as they work to rebuild their lives.

*To be a certified Peer Wellness Specialist in Oregon (certification can be obtained upon hire), you must self-identify as:

  • At least 18 years of age;
  • Not listed on the Medicaid provider exclusion list?; and
  • One of these:
    • A current or former mental health services consumer; 
    • A person in recovery from an addiction disorder who has abstained from alcohol and other drugs for at least 2 years; 
    • A person in recovery from problem gambling; or 
    • A family member of a current or former recipient of addictions or mental health services.??


YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. For more than 120 years, YWCA of Greater Portland has invested in our community, supported survivors, and advocated for the most vulnerable among us: women, children, seniors, the unhoused, and the incarcerated. As one of 200 Associations nationwide, we are proud members of YWCA USA, one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the nation.

Department: Survivor Services
Reports To: Co-Director of Survivor Services, Housing
Status: Full time, hourly / nonexempt
Wage: $25.48/hour + generous benefits

Application Process

Posting is active until March 21st, 2023. Interviews conducted in late March.

Please submit a complete application, which includes:

  • Cover letter that highlights what inspires you about YWCA’s mission, and how your lived experience will help you succeed in this position.
  • Resume
  • 3 to 5 References

ONLY complete applications will be considered.

Applications to: / Include job title in the subject line.


Key Responsibilities & Deliverables/Outcomes

Strength-Based, Trauma Informed Peer Support

  • Model wellness and self-determination for all residents based on your own experiences and demonstrated by your peer support specialist training.
  • Provide appropriate referrals to resources, accompany to court, trainings, employment opportunities and mental health appointments as needed.
  • Work with residents to identify and obtain specific personal goals including safety planning, stabilization, job placement, healing, and being a part of their community.
  • Create Peer-Assisted Wellness Plans tailored to the specific needs of individual CORH residents.
  • Provide strength-based structures to support residents in making progress on their Wellness Plans.

Responsive and Strategic Housing Support

  •  Develop and facilitate curriculum for monthly CORH Household meetings including topics such as wellness, shared living, successful tenancy, and self-sufficiency.
  • Use a “housing-first” approach to support survivors of domestic violence to attain or retain safe housing, frequently in emergency situations.
  • Apply knowledge of Fair Housing and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protections and/or landlord/tenant laws and contextualize the survivor’s experience while maintaining confidentiality.
  • Complete all data entry, filing, and eligibility requirement tasks in a timely manner. Such activities require adherence to federal, state, and local laws and contract requirements while working within multiple agency systems. All work must be carried out while maintaining absolute client confidentiality.

Participatory Teamwork and Responsible Representation

  • Engage consistently in anti-racism practices and approaches with internal and external work based on a deep understanding of historical and present-day structural racism.
  • Participate in program design, implementation, evaluation, reporting, and other shared responsibilities functions.
  • Participate in Multnomah County’s Coordinated Access process for survivors of domestic violence seeking housing services; Resource Coordination Team (RCT) meetings and implementation meetings.
  • Work with your CoRH team to support all CoRH homes to self-manage effectively and with your YWCA team to access the widest possible community support.
  • Develop and maintain positive professional relationships with housing providers in the Greater Portland area, the domestic violence services team, and YWCA as a whole.
  • Attend and meaningfully participate in all scheduled meetings with department, agency, and external partner teams.
  • Meet all contractually required domestic violence trainings plus 12 annual hours of YWCA Social Justice Training annually; commit to ongoing participation in continuing education including DV and Fair Housing legal changes.
  • Uphold YWCA of Greater Portland’s mission, vision, and values by acting with integrity, accountability, and responsibility toward resident participants, service partners, fellow employees, volunteers, donors, and everyone the organization engages with.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Commits to eliminating racism and empowering women, strives for equity in all aspects of our work, and has a strong understanding of trauma-informed principles and practices.
  • Communicates clearly, consistently, and kindly with program participants, agency partners, and colleagues, and responds in a timely, compassionate, and appropriate way to multiple partners.
  • Regulates personal emotions while enduring high amounts of vicarious stress and trauma.
  • Manages a complicated and a frequently deadline-driven work environment with consistent and effective self-care strategies and techniques.
  • Advocates for social justice including further the rights, protections, access to safety, and empowerment of historically oppressed and/or under-represented communities.


Skills, Knowledge, and Experience

  • Required (all provided upon hire):

    • Peer Wellness Specialist Certification

    • 40-hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training

    • Motivational Interviewing Training

  • Familiarity with domestic violence programs, community recovery resources (AA, NA, etc.), and treatment programs.
  • Ability to build rapport with survivors from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, maintain and respect confidentiality, and consistently treat others with respect and dignity.
  • Experience with group dynamics, facilitation, and conflict resolution.
  • Flexibility and responsiveness to prioritize multiple tasks and deadlines.
  • Independence is valued but you must also strongly identify as part of a team.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience with or ability to quickly learn Microsoft Office, Excel, Google Suite, Adobe Acrobat, and Android cell phone.
  • Willing to use personal experiences to model healing, recovery, and wellness.
  • Flexibility, kindness, discretion, and a sense of humor are essential.


Job Conditions

  • Primarily remote position in Portland Metro Region that requires in-person meetings with program participants, colleagues, and other partners at varied community locations.
  • Must be able to provide own transportation to visit multiple Portland Metro sites, mileage or bus pass will be reimbursed.
  • Laptop, phone, and other work-from-home equipment as needed will be supplied.



  • 100% Employer paid Comprehensive Medical, Vision, and Dental Insurance coverage (with a no deductible option).
  • Generous paid time off (including 13 paid holidays).
  • Employer paid Life, Short- and Long-Term Disability Insurance.
  • Unlimited access to no-cost Social Justice Trainings (see and additional position-specific professional development.
  • 100% Employer Paid Pension Plan (generous contribution) after 2 years of service in the YWCA Retirement Fund, one of the oldest pension plans in the country; a 403(b) Retirement Savings plan is available to all new employees.
  • Membership in the YWCA USA sisterhood, a 150-year-old network of 200 associations worldwide.


Our Hiring Philosophy

We believe that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace makes us a stronger, more creative, and more resilient organization. As an organization that works to amplify the voices of those from different ethnic, racial, and cultural communities, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations and/or expressions, we highly encourage people from all backgrounds, ages, abilities, and experiences to apply.

The YWCA of Greater Portland is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital or family status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or caregiver status, veteran status, or any other legally protected status. We work to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to participate in the job application and interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Multicultural, multilingual, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ voices matter to us. We encourage everyone who is passionate about our mission and who can bring valuable lived experience to this position to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of the described qualifications.

Please note that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all employees.

Listing Type
Position Type
Full Time
Experience Level
Entry Level
Employer Type
Direct Employer
Salary Type

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