Domestic Violence Advocate/Gateway Navigator

YWCA of Greater Portland | Portland, OR

Posted Date 3/15/2023

Applications to: - Include job title in the subject line

Position Overview

Are you a compassionate and creative problem solver? Are you passionate about helping people navigate systems to achieve their goals? Are you a team builder who understands that many hands achieve great things? The YWCA of Greater Portland assists domestic violence survivors navigate systems and attain safe and stable housing as part of the YWCA USA, the largest and oldest provider of domestic violence service in the world.  In this role, you will spend approximately half of your time as an Advocate and half of your time helping survivors navigate services via the Gateway Center. You will contribute significantly to the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.


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: Domestic Violence Services
Reports To: Co-Director of Survivor Services: Diversion
Status: Full time, hourly
Wage: $25.48/hour + generous benefits

Application Process

Posting is active until March 28th, 2023. Interviews conducted in early April.

Please submit a complete application, which includes:

  • Cover letter that highlights what inspires you about our mission, and how your lived experience will strengthen YWCA and support our growing Survivor Services Program.
  • Resume
  • 3 to 5 References

Only complete applications will be considered.


Key Responsibilities/Deliverables & Outcomes

Strength-Based, Trauma Informed Service

  • Work with the survivor to determine needs using a holistic, strengths-based approach.
  • Coordinate engagement with other domestic violence, mental health, anti-poverty, and legal service providers at the directive of the survivor.
  • Provide co-advocacy services at the directive of the survivor, offering support, information, referrals, and individualized safety planning.
  • Meet with participants at YWCA office locations and/or off-site following safety planning best practices.
  • Promote healthy relationships and maintain appropriate boundaries.
  • Be willing to be uncomfortable and sit with survivors through big emotions without trying to manage their emotions or solve all their problems.
  • Provide excellent, responsive, and flexible survivor-led service to all participants.

Survivor-Led Services Navigation

  • Provide exceptional service to survivors accessing the Gateway Center via hotline, email, or walk in.
  • Complete assessment/intake with participants and make appropriate individualized referrals.
  • Provide survivor-led safety planning and options counseling, and if requested, support with Domestic Violence Advocate.
  • Help survivors complete a variety of documents including requests for protective orders, Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) enrollment, or others.

Responsive and Strategic Housing Support

  • Use a “housing-first” approach to support survivors of domestic violence to safely attain or retain safe housing, frequently in emergency situations. This may include, but is not limited to, landlord negotiation/mediation, and attendance at formal or informal hearings.
  • Serve clients consistently and proactively through referrals, waitlists, and similar county-wide forums.
  • Apply knowledge of Fair Housing and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) 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

  • Represent the YWCA and Gateway Center and act as a team member with other agencies housed at the Gateway Center.
  • Develop and maintain positive professional relationships with providers of housing in the Greater Portland area, the domestic violence services team, and the YWCA as a whole.
  • Coordinate engagement with other domestic violence, mental health, anti-poverty, and legal service providers at the directive of the survivor.
  • 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 the YWCA of Greater Portland’s mission, vision, and values by acting with integrity, accountability, and responsibility toward survivor 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 participants, agency partners, and colleagues, and responds in a timely, compassionate, and appropriate way to multiple parties.
  • 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: 40-hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training and Motivational Interviewing Training (both provided upon hire).
  • Bilingual/Bicultural strongly preferred.
  • Comfortable in rapidly evolving situations that require advanced creative problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to self-manage workload priorities and calendar while being responsive to survivor needs and priorities. High self-motivation is key.
  • Ability to manage case load to a monthly budget and other contractual requirements to serve the greatest number of participants possible.
  • Knowledge of and the ability to effectively use survivor-centered best practices (including reflective listening) to find participant-led solutions.
  • Ability to build rapport with survivors from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, maintain and respect confidentiality, and consistently treat others with respect and dignity.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; strong attention to detail and solid data entry.
  • Experience with or ability to quickly learn Microsoft Office, Excel, Google Suite, Android cell phone, and Adobe Acrobat.
  • Dedicated responsiveness with a strong customer service orientation.
  • Flexibility, kindness, discretion, and a sense of humor are essential.


Job Conditions

  • The Advocate portion of this position is primarily remote in Portland Metro Region that requires in-person meetings with participants, colleagues, and other partners at varied community locations.
  • The Navigator portion of this position may require in person work at the Gateway Center.
  • Must be able to provide own transportation to visit multiple Portland Metro sites, mileage or bus pass is 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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