Youth Advocate-Drop In

A.Y.A. Youth Collective Grand Rapids , MI 49503

Posted 5 days ago

Position Summary

The Youth Advocate is responsible for creating and maintaining an environment that is welcoming, safe and affirming to youth members (ages 14-24) who are experiencing unsafe/unstable housing or are literally homeless. By engaging and building authentic relationships, this person will come alongside members to support them in moving from crisis to connected.

Along with being a vital part of Drop In, this person will also manage the Welcome Center (front desk) greeting and engaging all members (youth), visitors, donors, volunteers and community partners. This role requires excellent customer service, administrative skills, environmental awareness, the ability to prioritize and multi tasks in addition to advanced communication and conflict resolution skills.


1. Relational

a. Ensure that AYA's environment fosters belonging while being welcoming, inclusive and safe for members, staff, volunteers, community partners and donors.

b. Build meaningful and trusting relationships with youth as the expert in their own lives and empower them to set their own goals and recognize their own strengths.

c. Model and promote AYA's philosophy of care, which includes Positive Youth Development, Trauma Informed Care and Harm Reduction.

d. Quickly assess, recognize and intervene in possible safety compromises, difficult conversations and escalating behaviors.

e. Grow relationships with community partners and employers, advocating and facilitating warm connections to assist youth in achieving their goals.

2. Service Delivery

a. Support youth in navigating complex community systems to recover vital documents, improve health and wellness outcomes and education, employment and housing status.

b. Provide support for all Welcome Center activities, including but not limited to: answering the phone/checking voicemails, managing the mail, receiving donations, facilitating new memberships and signing in current members, greeting guests, and monitoring the traffic flow and safety in and around the building.

c. Model excellent communication skills by keeping members, staff, and volunteers up to date of events and opportunities on the Program Calendar and event flyers.

3. Leadership

a. Show initiative in identifying, intervening and communicating current trends and challenges and engage in innovative problem solving and advocacy.

b. Model exceptional teamwork in communication, initiative, accountability and flexibility among the staff and volunteer team.

c. Positively represent AYA in relevant and diverse community spaces.

d. Participate in regular personal/professional development and team meetings.


A degree in human services and/or experience in youth development.

Pass all required background checks

Comply with the agencys written policies and procedures

Flexibility for non-traditional work hours (evenings and weekends)

Ability to work in all weather conditions

Ability to perform moderate physical work, exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally and 10-20 pounds frequently and 3+ hours of consistent movement.

Demonstrate an ability to work effectively under stress and in a fast-paced, chaotic environment, including responding to emergencies/crisis and intervening in escalated/unsafe behaviors

Dedication to teamwork, professional development and overall excellence

Exceptional communication skills with diverse audiences

Support other initiatives, strategies and duties as assigned by AYA Leadership


  • Health Care Plan
  • Retirement Plan
  • Paid Time Off (PTO + Holidays)
  • Training & Development
  • Wellness Resources
  • Starting wage at $18/hr

AYA is an equal opportunity employer who strongly desires to build a team that accurately represents the diversity of our community and target population. We embrace differences in race, color, nationality, religion/culture, gender identity/expression, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, military status, or ability.

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Youth Advocate-Drop In

A.Y.A. Youth Collective