Housing Worker - Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Jun 13, 2021
Ottawa (Vanier), Ontario


Housing Worker

Full-time position

Contract up to March 31, 2023 with the possibility of extension


Over 1/3 of homeless people in Ottawa are Indigenous. Wabano has been providing homelessness services to our community for over 20 years. But both “houselessness” and homelessness have negative connotations… at Wabano, we see our role more as “path finders”. Whether clients need help finding or keeping their home, our team is here to help clients create a safe, cozy place that they can feel pride in calling home.

Wabano is now looking for a Housing Worker to be part of our “Home Team” working collaboratively within the Indigenous-specific coordinated access system in Ottawa. (See Appendix for more information on this system.) 

We are looking for an individual that is inspired by the work of grassroots initiatives and is motivated to find innovative ways to foster rapport and use technology to streamline communication.

The Role

As the Housing Worker, you will help our community members find housing and help connect them with programs and services that will help keep them housed.

The successful candidate will be responsible for finding available housing in Ottawa for clients of Wabano and maintaining efficient communication between team members about availabilities and client needs, so that clients have quick access to housing.

To meet these responsibilities, the Housing Worker will:

  • Help find housing for community members and support them to find services to meet their various needs in order to keep them housed, including helping find them financial aid, a stable food source, life skills programing, mental health and addiction supports, health care, furniture, clothing, social supports, cultural programming, employment etc.;
  • Help with the housing search, including suggesting different housing options, viewing units, assisting with lease-signing, explaining the lease and rules in simple terms, etc.;
  • Meet community members “where they are at” – whether on the street, in the shelter, or at a location where they feel comfortable;
  • Create positive partnerships with team members, other Wabano workers, and community partners in order to best support client needs;
  • Maintain appropriate and confidential records of all clients in an online client record system;
  • Creating a welcoming, judgment-free environment for community members.



  • Experience: You will meet people at their most vulnerable, so you need to be able to make them feel comfortable and supported. Knowing how to help someone who may be resistant, or generally not in a good place really takes experience. Knowing that Indigenous clients have a very specific history and may have different needs is also important, so you will need to demonstrate that you have experience working with First Nations, Inuit or Métis people.
  • Problem solving skills: You will encounter a lot of different problems and scenarios and you will need to be able to be creative and think on your feet. Experience will also help you come up with good solutions that will best meet your clients’ needs.
  • Resourcefulness: You will need to know what services are available for our community members to meet their various needs. If you don’t know, you’ll need the initiative and will to find out.
  • Computer skills: You will need to use an online client record, so you will need to be willing and able to learn.
  • Communication skills: You will need to be able to communicate well with others inside and outside of Wabano (both speaking and in writing).
  • Flexibility: Wabano holds community events outside of normal 9:00-5:30 work hours. Being part of our community is important, so you will need the ability to change your hours around from time to time to attend our events, which could be in the evening or on the weekend.
  • Ability to work with vulnerable people: You will need to be prepared to show you are able to work with vulnerable people through providing a criminal record check for working with the vulnerable sector.


  • A post-secondary education: this will definitely give you an edge, but the experience and ability to support our community comes first;
  • Current CPR-First Aid Level C, ASSIST, Non Violent Crisis Intervention (if you do not have these – we will train you);
  • As an organization who works with the Indigenous community of Ottawa, it’s important that we provide opportunities to our community first, so First Nations, Inuit or Métis candidates will be given priority, please self-identify.

Application Details

Please submit your application to jobs@wabano.com. Application materials include a cover letter and resume. This opportunity will remain open until filled, so tell us your story early!

Wabano is an inclusive and equitable organization, encouraging applications from qualified candidates, including persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. The position is open to all qualified applicants, although preference will be given to candidates of Indigenous ancestry (please self-identify in your application).

Wabano is committed to providing employment accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If contacted for an employment opportunity or interviewing, please advise if you require accommodation.

We thank all those who apply. Only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.



What is a coordinated access system?

From Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy Directives

A coordinated access system is the process by which individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness are directed to community-level access points where trained workers use a common assessment tool to evaluate the individual or family’s depth of need, prioritize them for housing support services and then help to match them to available housing focused interventions.

Quality coordinated access systems share several features, including a centralized database that collects and displays real-time data on clients and available housing and supports; clear access points of entry; common assessment; standardized protocols; and resources (for example, staff) focused on ensuring that people can connect with appropriate housing and housing supports in an efficient manner.


  • Access: the engagement point for the individual or family experiencing a housing crisis. This may include emergency shelters, mobile outreach teams, day centres, other community-based organizations and hotlines.
  • Assessment: the process of gathering information about an individual or family accessing the crisis system.
  • Prioritization: the process of determining the individual’s or family’s priority for housing based on information gathered through the assessment.
  • Matching and referral: the process whereby the individual or family is matched to and offered housing based on project-specific eligibility, needs and preferences

Indigenous Coordinated Access System in Ottawa

There are three Indigenous organizations in Ottawa who are funded to implement coordinated access in Ottawa: Wabano, Minwaashin and TI (Tungasuvvingat Inuit).

Currently, everyone who is homeless initially goes through City. The City then refers any Indigenous clients to Wabano. Wabano is responsible to match the client to the appropriate services/agencies. This includes Indigenous agencies who have been funded for coordinated access (Minwaashin and TI) as well as other housing partners who are part of ACAB.

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