Casual Shelter Resource Worker (All Shifts and On-Call)

Vancouver, BC Temporary $24.08/hour

First United is a social service agency working in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver supporting vulnerable community members struggling with issues such as poverty, addiction and mental health. If it is your desire to make a difference for people, this is the purpose filled work for you. We look forward to speaking with you about this opportunity. 

First United is seeking candidates to work shifts, including overnight in our new 50 bed, low barrier shelter on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.  If it is your desire to make a difference for those most vulnerable and to gain knowledge, experience and valuable skills in working with those with complex mental health and addiction issues, this is the job for you.  We offer opportunities for training and professional  development.  We look forward to meeting and working with you.  


A neighborhood where every person's worth is celebrated and all people thrive.

Our Mission
We seek a just society, nurturing spirits through ministry, housing, advocacy and community services.

Our Core Values

Acceptance: we practice a presence of acceptance, caring for people no matter who they are, no matter where they are on life's journey, no matter their race, gender identity/expression, or who they love. We meet people where they are and offer help when asked.

Discernment: we develop and grow our skill at using critical thinking and judgement in our interactions with the community we serve. We know that behaviour is in itself communication, and sometimes rules cannot be one-size-fits-all. And that the world does need rules. We use the same skills to plan how the organization should respond to the neighbourhood we serve.

Empathy: we practice empathy, truly seeing and hearing the experience of those around us. Empathy communicates to those we serve: You are not alone.

Accountability: we show up and we go the extra mile. We deal with our own issues and we take ownership and responsibility for our work and its impact.

Social Justice: we aspire to a sustainable and equitable society.


Each job within the First United Church Community Ministry Society should in some way promote our accomplishment of this vision and mission.



This position is accountable to the Manager of Shelter Services in providing a welcoming, safe, and secure environment to the men and women living in the First United Church's 24/7 emergency shelter. Under the immediate direction of the Shift Supervisor, the Shelter Resource Worker will be a daily presence at the First United Church to provide support to the men and women in the areas of relationship development and community engagement while performing a variety of duties to ensure the smooth operation of the emergency shelter.



  • Create a safe, welcoming and calming environment for the men and women staying with the First United emergency shelter and from the community using our services.  Engage and develop relationships with each individual through active listening, program offerings, access to our services and being a steady presence throughout all areas of the First United Church.  Will work mainly with the shelter residents.
  • Act as the first point of contact for men and women staying in the First United Church emergency shelter.  Welcomes new and returning users of the emergency shelter at First United Church by completing intakes, discussing shelter guidelines and ensuring basic shelter, food and hygiene needs are met. 
  • Maintains the smooth operation of the emergency shelter by knowing who is in the building, doing regular counts and check-ins, managing the entrance door and graciously declining entry to non-shelter users when our day program closes, doing room/bathroom checks regularly.  Monitor the showers and ensure clear of refuse for the next community member.  Provide assistance to the Shift Supervisor as needed.
  • Ensure shelter residents are aware of meal times and when the sleeping areas are open making them accessible and ready for use at the appropriate times.  Provide access to work lockers as needed.
  • Maintain daily documentation and information sharing through HIFIS, incident report forms, statistic reporting, attending bi-weekly Shelter Resource meetings and monthly all-staff meetings.  Share community information to all staff and the community as it pertains to our daily work at the First United Church.  Liaise with the Shift Supervisor/Assistant Shelter Manager and Shelter Case Planners with concerns and complete Community Care Referrals.
  • Participate as a team member of the whole First United church organization.  Stay knowledgeable of and be active in programs, services and special projects.  Use this knowledge to engage shelter residents in participating in volunteer work, Advocacy, Clinical Outreach team, First United housing, Supportive funding, and other programs when appropriate. 
  • Stay observant of the environment and provide calming intervention as required to ensure the safety of everyone and policies are being respected.
  • Provide first response to crisis intervention as required.  Communicate with team members, Shift Supervisor and/or Manager of Shelter Services and work alongside them to deescalate and resolve situations.  Call for Emergency Medical Assistance when appropriate and calling the on-shift First Aid Attendant for all injuries to staff and community members regardless of the severity.  Report all incidents, observations, and unsafe conditions through the proper channels and on the computer.
  • Participate with the general cleanliness and organization of the First United Church including all common areas, washrooms, and sleeping areas. Dispose of belongings that have not been left in a designated spot, or when a shelter resident no longer uses the shelter services.   Assistant residents to downsize their belonging.
  • Other duties as required.
  • Men need to announce themselves when entering the Women's Shelter area.



Supervisory/Management responsibility: None


That nature of working in an emergency shelter is stressful and often will be supporting clients in crisis brought about by diverse life events and experiences.  The Shelter Resources Worker must have the ability to function independently and under pressure, while managing a multitude of other emergency tasks.  If clarification is required, it is expected that the incumbent will request further direction from the Shift Supervisor and/or Manager of Shelter Services.


  • Regular communication is maintained with all levels of staff and management.  Communication is also maintained with management and co-workers as work is assigned and completed, and information exchanged on an ongoing basis.
  • The Shelter Resource Worker is to seek input or to exchange information about regular duties with the Shift Supervisor, Assistant Managers and/or Manager of Shelter Services


  • Effective working relationship building skills and boundary setting with vulnerable populations.
  • Ability to discern relevant information, apply critical thinking and facilitate the resolution of challenging situations using diplomacy, tact, and persuasion.
  • Exceptional communication skills required (written and verbal) and the ability and experience of dealing with and de-escalating conflict in a fluid work environment is essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to use computer/technology such as:  Outlook E-Mail, HIFIS (client data), Word/Excel, Timecard/Payroll Software, fillable forms, etc.
  • Demonstrated a strong community member focused philosophy in all interactions.
  • Demonstrated a high level of initiative, self direction, flexibility, and ability to adapt to, lead and manage change/changing situations.
  • Willingness to participate and show initiative to participate in community events and applicable training


  • Minimum Grade 12
  • Related training in non-violent crisis intervention
  • Basic First Aid Certification.


  • A minimum of one year previous experience working in community based services providing direct services to at risk populations who have social/lifestyle risks Demonstrated experience working successfully with marginalized populations and those living in poverty

We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.


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