VAW Jobs

YWCA Toronto-Awake Shelter Support Worker

Awake Shelter Support Worker – Overnight Trauma Counsellor 1st Stop Woodlawn

Employment Type: Full-Time, Permanent
Work Hours: 35 hours per week
Salary: $50,158 annually, plus comprehensive benefits
Location: 80 Woodlawn Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1C1
Internal Application Deadline: Monday, November 11, 2019
External Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

As a specialist in the area of trauma support, the Shelter Support Worker – Overnight Trauma Counsellor works within a collaborative team to provide meaningful and relevant services within a theoretical feminist framework that includes a working knowledge of the dynamics and effects of trauma and oppression. She acts as a resource to staff and clients and is responsible for providing a full range of services which includes crisis counselling and the development, implementation
and evaluation of workshops.


There are six main components to the service delivered by 1st Stop Woodlawn. The program provides 22 shelter beds to young women (16–25 years of age); 22 shelter beds to women 26 years and older; 6 rooms in Second Stage Supportive Housing for mature and/or senior women and 6 second stage rooms for young women not ready for independent living. The Housing Help program provides advocacy referral and support to residents in the shelter. The Transitional Support program provides aftercare to residents and their children providing support through group work, counselling and
connecting women to supports. The Ministry of Health Rent Supplement Program provides housing and support to women with mental health issues.


  • Applies knowledge of the issues of trauma and the dynamics of woman abuse to develop and implement effective support strategies;
  • Participates in case conferences and acts as an advocate on behalf of residents;
  • Provides daily support services to residents (e.g. weekly allowance, bus tickets/taxi vouchers, first aid, long-distance calls and assists with completion of forms and statements);
  • Exercises precautions to ensure the safety of residents;
  • Provides case management support services to residents;
  • Uses mediation and counselling skills to maintain a co-operative, supportive and productive house environment;
  • Liaises with professionals and agencies in the community to facilitate access to services by the clients;
  • Researches, creates and obtains material to address the needs of clients;
  • Responds appropriately to needs presented by ex-residents;
  • Applies knowledge, stays current and demonstrates skill in the area of trauma support and acts as a resource to staff and clients;
  • Demonstrates and maintains knowledge of relevant legislation regarding trauma and the dynamics of women abuse and effective support strategies;
  • Develops and maintains a record of community resources that assist women in the area of Overnight Trauma Counselling;
  • Works with women individually and/or in groups to develop and improve social and living skills by assisting them to set goals, follow through on plans, recognize options and make positive choices;
  • Provides crisis intervention and counselling for women in shelter, in 2nd Stage Housing and to ex- residents;
  • Facilitates weekly residents meetings to evaluate programs, determine emerging resident needs and to encourage a cooperative living environment;
  • Develops, implements and evaluates psycho-educational and mutual-aid groups that address clients’ trauma and woman abuse issues.


  • In-depth knowledge of an academic discipline normally acquired through completion of a clinically supervised undergraduate degree (e.g. BSW); an analytical framework that identifies clients' relation to social systems and the demonstrated practical application of this framework (Cases For Equivalency will be considered);
  • Completion of workshops and courses pertaining to trauma;
  • 1 to 3 years experience in client centered counselling focused on trauma issues with clients at risk and/or homeless women;
  • Completion of Toronto Hostel’s Training Certificate (T.H.T.C.) or equivalent;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of harm reduction principles and practice, community resources and supports focused on trauma;
  • In depth knowledge of the dynamics of woman abuse and trauma within an anti-oppression framework;
  • Demonstrated experience in the development, delivery and evaluation of workshops and groups;
  • Experience delivering culturally sensitive services in a multicultural environment;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Knowledge and understanding of mental health, substance use/addictions, advocacy, refugee and immigration issues and homelessness;
  • Life Skills Certificate an asset;
  • A certificate in trauma counselling would be an asset;
  • Knowledge of a second language and/or culture would be an asset.

Please submit your cover letter and résumé to: Maria Moutsatsos, Manager of 1st Stop Woodlawn Shelter at

Please quote JOB ID number STOP0272 and your name in the subject line.

Please note: A vulnerable sector police reference check is required by the successful candidate prior to hiring. YWCA Toronto is a unionized workplace. Staff are represented by CUPE Local 2189. This position is within the Bargaining Unit.
Please indicate on your cover letter if you are an internal candidate. For internal applicants, this position is secondable. YWCA Toronto promotes the principles of anti-oppression and adheres to the tenets of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

We encourage applications from women of all races, ethnic origins, religions, abilities and sexual orientations.

YWCA Toronto provides accommodation during all parts of the hiring process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities.

If contacted, please advise us if you require any accommodation. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those
selected for an interview will be contacted.