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Occupational Therapist - Supports within Housing - Canadian Mental Health Association, York and South Simcoe

Apr 10, 2021
Aurora, Ontario


Posting Date: April 1, 2021

Closing Date: April 15, 2021


Message about our hiring and operating practices during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Canadian Mental Health York Region and South Simcoe branch (CMHA-YRSS) is continuing to provide much-needed mental health services. As an organization, we are protecting our staff through supporting either working from home, or physical distancing, and other public health directives for essential services staff working on-site. Rest assured that your well-being is our top priority and we have appropriate health and safety measures in place at each stage of the recruiting process and throughout our operations.

We are looking for an Occupational Therapist for our Supports within Housing Program!

As we continue to grow our team, we are looking for an Occupational Therapist to join our passionate, dedicated, and “BRAVE” team! If you are a collaborative, innovative individual who is interested in helping people recover from a mental health challenge, increase their independence, and find housing in York Region and South Simcoe, than this role is for you!

If you can demonstrate: that you are passionate and committed to helping end homelessness for individuals who have not had a home for a long time; if you understand the barriers and challenges that people have to overcome to help people find and keep a home; and if you respect and admire the determination and courage it takes to make positive changes when faced with multiple complex challenges, then maybe the Housing First Programs at CMHA – YRSS are the place for you.

Closing Date: April 15, 2021

Permanent: Part-time, 17.5 Hours per Week, Evening Hours and Weekends may be required

Competition #: 2020-075

Location: In accordance with current public health directives, training will be available both remotely (i.e., via teleconference and videoconferencing technologies) as well as onsite while respecting physical distancing. During the current COVID-19 outbreak, work can be completed primarily in the community with all appropriate and necessary safety measures (including provision of all necessary personal protective equipment) and from home with equipment provided by CMHA. The Occupational Therapist’s home base will be our Aurora Office (15150 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 1M2) although the work with clients will be primarily in places where people experiencing homelessness can be found within York Region, including shelters, drop in’s and other community locations or virtually/by phone/text whenever possible. At this time it is expected that most administrative tasks will be done from home.

Job Profile:

The Occupational Therapist (OT) works with clients within a Housing First framework to assist the client achieve their goal of Housing stability. The OT will do outreach to people experiencing homelessness and work as part of a team to break down barrier's individuals may face to achieving housing stability. The OT will complete assessments in the areas of daily living activities, behavior and emotion, and where required, motor coordination, sensory and perceptual motor function, and visual perception. Treatment goals are to assist the client with achieving housing stability and to facilitate skills development and mastery, reduce distress, promote involvement in leisure and recreational opportunities in the community, and promote optimal functioning in activities of daily living, while altering environmental barriers. The OT assists clients to minimize distressing or disruptive feelings and behaviors, build resilience, and attain their goals and aspirations.

The OT facilitates and supports recovery for youth and adults experiencing homelessness who may also be facing mental health and substance overuse challenges through empowerment and respect by providing a range of social, educational, and recreational services. Using a recovery-based approach, the OT assists clients to develop and use interpersonal, social, and leadership skills that will optimize their strengths and improve their quality of life, and mental and physical health and well-being. The OT assesses client’s strengths and needs in the areas of housing stability, self-care, productivity and leisure and plans and evaluates client goal achievement through both individual and group experiences. The OT collaborates with a range of formal and informal services, refers members to external resources, and may also participate in case conferences and systemic initiatives to improve availability, accessibility, and equity of resources. Other duties as required.

In addition to compliance with all organizational policies and procedures, the incumbent is also expected to behave ethically, demonstrate competence in effective communication and team building, demonstrate effectiveness in working in a collaborative environment, and demonstrate confidence in decision-making and in building relationships. The OT may be assigned to different programs as required based on need.


  • Registration and member in good standing with COTO (College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario); cannot be in the qualifying stages
  • Bachelors or Masters’ degree in Occupational Therapy
  • An interest in working with people experiencing homelessness
  • Experience working in community with adults with serious mental illness and substance overuse challenges is preferred
  • A second language (Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Farsi, Italian, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Tamil, Urdu) reflecting the local community is an asset.
  • Strong knowledge of empowerment-oriented philosophies and practices
  • Assessment, crisis intervention and counseling skills
  • Knowledge and experience working with 2SLGBTQ community is an asset
  • Knowledge of systemic issues such as poverty, unemployment and stigma (including racism and homophobia/transphobia)
  • Experience working with people who have experienced chronic homelessness is an asset
  • Knowledge of the Ontario Mental Health Act, mental health reform principles, the Substitute Decisions Act, the Health Care Consent Act and PHIPA requirements
  • Extensive knowledge of supports and services in York Region, including formal and informal resources
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to demonstrate computer skills, specifically Microsoft Office and Outlook
  • A valid Canadian Full G driver’s license, a minimum $1,000,000 third party liability insurance and proof that insurance covers use of personal vehicle to transport clients
  • A satisfactory and current Vulnerable Sector Screening

The statements above are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by an individual assigned to the job. This information is not constructed to be an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel in the job.

This position reports to the Manager, People & Teams on the Supports within Housing Program.

Working Conditions: Office work, community settings, meetings in clients’ home and travel with clients. Periodic / scheduled evening to accommodate client's needs.

Disclaimer: In keeping with mental health reform, best practices, funding and direction this position may later require knowledge, skills, abilities and working conditions not noted here

Why work for CMHA-York Region and South Simcoe?

We are a team committed to our vision of mental health support for all. That means we respect that our clients are the experts in their recovery journey and that our role is to provide support, resources and opportunities based on their hopes and dreams. It means that we foster and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit to create, implement, and sustain innovative, evidence based and transformational impact. We seek out and build partnerships, collaborate and share knowledge to be the most culturally competent team and fully integrated service delivery partner.

Our team cares for each other. We have our own team values of trust, respect, teamwork and communication. We have been a National Nonprofit Employer of Choice for four consecutive years as well as a recipient of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

To request this posting in an alternate format or to request accommodation in the application process, email

Application Procedures: (For our website)

If you are interested in this opportunity, click on the “Apply Now” button above and proceed to upload your cover letter and resume.

Complete the application form and submit the following:

1) Cover letter with 300 words or less and tell us why you would want the Occupational Therapist role and why you should be considered for the position (PDF or Word)

2) Resume (PDF or Word)

Application Procedures: (For 3rd Party websites)

If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit our website at and click on Current Opportunities, and click on Apply Now and proceed to upload your cover letter and resume."

CMHA-YRSS supports the recovery of people with mental illness and promotes diversity in the workplace. We welcome all applicants including persons with lived experience, women, aboriginal people, people with disabilities, and members of the 2SLGBTQ+, visible minority and immigrant communities to apply.

While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


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