POSITION: Material Aid and Volunteer Organizer
POSTED: October 23, 2020
The Material Aid and Advocacy Program’s (MAAP) mission is to support and empower community members experiencing homelessness or living in poverty to seek systemic solutions that address the root causes of homelessness, poverty, and inequality. Over the past several years, MAAP has grown to become an organizing home for people experiencing homelessness especially those who are unsheltered. During COVID-19 we have remained open, moving our operations outside. We have provided survival supplies, access to our outdoor sink and phone charging station, phone and laptop use, meals and snacks, connection to resources, and advocacy opportunities from our front lawn. (We encourage applicants to read more about us and our COVID-19 response on our website.)
We are now ready to hire our second, permanent, full-time staff member. As a small organization we offer flexibility, the opportunity to learn (as we learn), and build community with us. MAAP is seeking an individual who will prioritize treating participants of MAAP with dignity and respect. At MAAP we work hard to practice harm reduction, maintain safety guidelines, honor community agreements, and maintain individual and collective practices that challenge systemic inequalities. We have an ethic of non-judgement. We respect and honor the autonomy and self-reliance of community members.
We know that the person who joins our team is not likely to have all of the skills we need. That’s ok. We are looking for someone who has experience working with people who are experiencing homelessness, as well as some of the skills listed and desire to learn new ones.
Ability to work with people who are experiencing homelessness including those in shelters and those living unsheltered, including people who may have been incarcerated, may use drugs, may be in recovery, may have survived forced treatment, and are part of our community who organize and shape our space;
Problem solver with skills in working to prioritize problems in a fast paced and sometimes stressful environment;
Excellent communicator by text, email, on the phone, and in person with many kinds of communicators;
Proven commitment to social justice issues including but not limited the rights of people who live in shelter; the rights of people who live unsheltered; decriminalization of poverty, mental illness; and substance use disorder; and the ending of mass incarceration and/or commitment to abolition of jail/prison and systems of policing;
Commitment to racial justice and dismantling white supremacy.
Experience managing volunteers;
Policy or legislative work;
Using social media (twitter, instagram, facebook, tiktok) for education, awareness building, organizing or base building, and fundraising (gofundme);
Grassroots fundraising (see above);
Traditional fundraising (annual appeals, major donor work, grant writing);
Bookkeeping or financial management;
Managing a CRM or donor database; and/or
Ability to speak a second language that is spoken by our community members (Spanish, Haitian Creole).
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:
PROGRAM: Be onsite during Tuesday / Thursday hours when we are open to support unhoused community members in meeting their self-identified material and broader resource needs, and during volunteer hours. Increase the collective organizing capacity of MAAP’s participants and unhoused community members through regular participant organizing meetings and opportunities. This is a large part of the responsibility.
Ensure smooth operation of logistics including managing existing volunteers, and developing a more formalized volunteer onboarding process including volunteer trainings, manual, and check-ins; and oversight of material donations (drop offs, pick ups, sorting, receipts, donating on, and more!).
Support participants in meeting their material needs at MAAP and providing assistance in accessing resources to meet their broader needs within and beyond the MAAP community using resource guides, internet, and phone.
Support participants in maintaining a strong community and safe space, including maintaining participant rights and responsibilities, and mediating conflict when requested or is necessary
Support participants and volunteers in updating the MAAP resource guides and transferring them to a digital format on our website.
Collaborate with the Executive Director to implement strategies to support MAAP participants engaging in organizing and advocacy work, and build leadership capacity among participant organizers, including support at regular organizing meetings.
Work with the Executive Director and participant organizers create actionable organizing campaigns based on self identified issues and concerns brought forth by participants or unhoused community members.
Create programming, projects, and workshops that meet the self-identified needs of participants during MAAP hours that are not currently within MAAP’s scope.
Work with the Executive Director, volunteers, and participants to ensure and maintain cleanliness of the MAAP space and property.
ADVOCACY & ORGANIZING/OUTREACH: Engage in our growing organizing work in partnership with other activist grassroots social justice organizations. Represent MAAP at the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition Meeting which happens Saturdays from 1-3; this meeting is currently remote but is generally held in Roxbury.
Develop connections with our partner organizations and coalitions (SIFMA NOW!, Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition, and other activist grassroots social justice organizations and coalitions) and service providers to both support day-to-day needs of community members and long term social change goals.
Help develop and maintain grassroots support through social media digital organizing and development campaigns
Attend and plan community meetings, actions, and events as well as meetings with elected and appointed officials and the broader community
Work with the Executive Director to organize semi-annual Tag Sale Fundraiser and other program-related and fundraising events such as bystander awareness training.
ADMINISTRATIVE: Do some administrative work that is necessary and has to be done in a small non-profit with just two staff people.
Assist with scheduling/rescheduling of participants, and maintenance and operation of the participant schedule and request list.
Assist with maintaining the donor database, and overseeing donor relations (thank you notes, tax acknowledgements, outreach).
Assist with individual donor development through semi-annual appeals, regular emails, and social media, as well as grant writing and reporting.
Track, organize and analyze data for reporting as needed.
Other tasks as needed or decided upon in collaboration with Executive Director
We know that people gain experience in many ways; through life experiences, paid work, and unpaid work which could include helping family, friends, community members or more formal internships or volunteer experiences. Some people have formal education and some people don’t; this job doesn’t require it.
Must be able to read and write in English at a proficient level. Must be able to speak with, understand and have clear communication with participants, volunteers, donors, and partners. Must be able to stand for at least two hours and climb stairs daily. Must be able to lift and carry 30 lbs. MAAP plans on continuing to provide services outdoors during COVID-19.
BENEFITS: MAAP offers generous benefits for a small grassroots nonprofit including paid time off (vacation, holidays, personal time, and sick time), paid dental and healthcare. As we grow, we will continue to develop mission-minded, progressive employment policies that grow with us to recruit and retain staff.
HOURS: 40 hrs/wk Tuesday – Saturday
INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLYING
Completed applications should be one PDF including the following:
A cover letter that summarizes what skills you have (above) and answers the following three questions (also no more than 2 pages)
What interests you in working for the Material Aid and Advocacy Program?
What qualities do you see as important to work with people experiencing homelessness?
Tell us about a time you organized with people towards a common goal. Describe what happened, what your role was, what you accomplished, and what lessons you learned.
A resume (also no more than 2 pages)
Sent as a single (no more than 4 page) PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please label them as Your Last Name_Your First Initial_Organizer
Priority will be given to applications sent by 5pm EST on November 15. We will do our first round of review then. We will continue accepting resumes as long as this document is posted on our website. We will conduct zoom interviews, and then an outdoor interview that includes community members and tour of our indoor space.
MAAP does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, national origin, disability, political belief, marital status, age, sexual orientation, class, housing status, veteran status, or other legally protected status. MAAP complies with all Equal Employment Opportunity and Americans with Disabilities Act laws and regulations in the areas of hiring, compensation, benefits, and job assignment.
MAAP is committed to having our staff reflect the communities we serve. We encourage people of color, people directly impacted by the criminal legal system, and/or people with direct experiences of homelessness or extreme poverty to apply.
About Material Aid and Advocacy Program
MAAP offers unhoused community members material aid, access to resources, organizing opportunities and support. The core of our work is providing a low-threshold space free of criminalization, harassment, and judgement twice a week including regular organizing meetings. At MAAP, people access material aid of their choosing and resources they identify as necessary or important to meet their needs. People are treated with dignity and respect. Increasingly participants are taking responsibility in running the space. One participant described MAAP as “a community where I can actively work towards escaping my homelessness, meet my basic needs and help others do the same. Where my contributions are valued and I'm able to fight for my community”.