CLS Peer Tenant Advocate Application
Thank you for completing this screening for the Peer Tenant Advocate position at Community Legal Services! We may reach out to you for more details about your application, including a resume and/or the names of references (which may include community members). All Peer Tenant Advocate applicants must have personally experienced the eviction process. See below for a full job description.
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Name (first and last name) *
Email *
Phone Number *
Best way to reach you *
Application Questions
Have you personally experienced the eviction process as a tenant? *
Why are you interested in working with tenants facing eviction? *
What skills and experiences would you bring to this role? *
Please share any information you would like us to know about your background and/or experiences, that you think would be helpful during the hiring process. *
Thank you for completing this brief screening.  We will be interviewing for this position until it is filled.  We will reach out to you if we need more information.  If you would like more information about the position, the job description is below.  Thank you!
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s (CLS) Housing Unit is seeking to hire a full-time Peer  Tenant  Advocate. The  Peer  Tenant  Advocate’s  primary  responsibility  will  be  to  work collaboratively with legal teams representing tenants in the eviction process either pre-court, in Fair Housing, Municipal Court or the Court of Common Pleas. Teams are comprised of attorneys, social  work  staff,  paralegals  and  peer  advocates  (tenants  who  have  experienced  the  eviction process).  In addition to providing our clients with high quality legal defense, objectives of the teams include improving safe, stable, affordable, and healthy housing for our clients.

Peer Tenant Advocates will receive ongoing supervision on their cases from lawyers and social workers.  Peer  Tenant  Advocates  can  expect  intensive,  interdisciplinary  training  on  CLS’s Advocacy model, the eviction process and housing-destabilizing issues, client interviewing, and other  critical  skills.  Peer  Tenant  Advocates  will  also  have  regular  opportunities  to  debrief  and provide mutual support with Peer Advocates in other CLS units. CLS is dedicated to providing ongoing professional development in best practices in all these areas in a variety of training forums for all staff.  

The job duties and responsibilities necessary for this position include:
•  Providing support and practical information to tenants
•  Helping  to  advocate for tenants with the Philadelphia Housing Authority,  Rental
Assistance, and other social service agencies
•  Attending Municipal Court hearings
•  Supporting tenants at various meetings such as public assistance, housing, Medicaid, and
other important venues
•  Keeping case data and client files up to date
•  Participating in CLS’s policy initiatives
•  Providing advice and participating in outreach efforts to neighborhoods hardest hit by the
eviction crisis
•  Presenting to community-based agencies about available services, resources, and rights of
•  Acting as a liaison with community organizing bodies (attending meetings, connecting interested tenants with appropriate  organizing, assisting with media requests for client voices

All Peer Tenant Advocate applicants must have personally experienced and negotiated the eviction system in the past and be committed to using their knowledge to help other tenants involved in these systems.  

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and abilities:
•  Informal or past work  experience  advocating on  behalf of other tenants (which could include friends, neighbors or relatives)
•  Experience with housing and related issues (public benefits, rental assistance, housing
•  Experience doing community outreach
•  Strong  interpersonal and communication skills and ability to interact well in a multi-cultural environment
•  Ability to learn complex material quickly
•  Initiative
•  An ability to work as part of a team

•  Personal experience as a tenant in the eviction system
•  High School Diploma or a GED
•  Aptitude for or demonstrated skill in client interviewing, written and oral advocacy
•  Strong writing skills
•  Computer literacy
•  Willingness and motivation to assist on substantive cases and administrative matters.

•  Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish, is strongly preferred, but not required.
•  Completion of a peer advocate course, such as Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services certified peer specialists training is preferred, but not required.

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