Homeless Services Educator

Careers in public health not only offer steady employment and competitive wages, they also provide a way to help populations within the community.  This service also allows the public to grow into better health and wellness, while offering you a valid employments path with good advancement chances.  Homeless services educators may be employed on local, state, and federal levels, and can provide awareness and help to this special population.

Public health jobs are good for entry level applicants, as they provide experience and training for more advanced positions in the field.  With a high demand for new positions to be filled, you may find that working as a homeless services educator not only gives you a chance to grow your career, but also to grow your community.

What Is A Homeless Services Educator?

Homeless services educators provide lessons and teaching to youth and children who live on the streets.  Along with providing schooling, this position will also require health assessments and services education for the population.  Depending upon the age range of the homeless population, you may provide general education or grade specific subject matter.  Homeless services educators will also teach safety and hygiene and provide access to shelters and  safe havens for these individuals. 

Homeless services educators would be responsible for the following tasks:

  •   Creating lesson plans that are appropriate to the learning background of the population.
  •   Assessing physical and emotional health and providing supportive services.
  •   Informing health service providers and health departments about specific needs.
  •   Generating printed materials and workbooks for the population.
  •   Publicizing the services to create awareness and interest.
  •   Drafting reports on observations and experiences as well as suggestions for alternative interventions.
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Some professional skills that can also help you as a homeless services educator include:

  •   Teaching skills: You will need to be both informative and engaging.  You will also need to assess levels of knowledge and prior schooling to make your lessons effective.
  •   Interpersonal skills:  This position requires that you build trust and bonds with the individuals you are teaching, so that you can create meaningful impact.
  •   Patience and compassion:  You will need to be able to relate and sympathize with personal experiences that your students have undergone, so that you may more effectively inspire them.

Nature Of The Work

Homeless services educators may work out of the public health offices, community outreach centers, municipal homeless shelters, or even non-profit organizations.  This position is frequently also a part of larger community interventions, so you may find yourself in a number of environments throughout the job.  Much of the education is conducted in public facilities or at shelters.  This would require you to hold group sessions within the special population, but also disseminate printed information to generate awareness for services.

Some of your time will be spent in an office environment, where you will draft strategies and develop teaching materials.  Homeless services educators will also need to gather population data and track progress and outcomes over the course of the teaching initiative.  You will present these findings as a report to the department of health and community healthcare providers, as this will allow for a better addressing of the needs of the homeless community.

Education And Training

Homeless services educators require at least a four year Bachelor’s degree in order to gain employment.  Courses should cover education, social services, special populations, or other subjects related to community health and wellness.  Experience for this position is preferred, and internships or volunteer work in homeless shelters and soup kitchens offers training and familiarity with the needs of this population

As an educator, you will need to be certified.  This requires that you pass the CHES exam in order to gain your credentialing.  To maintain this status, you will need to complete continuing education credit hours.

Median salaries for homeless services educators tend to be around $42,000 per year, although there is some fluctuation if you are employed on a local, state, or federal level.  Entry level positions start around $30,000, and this is subject to the same employment variations.  

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This career option has good growth potential, as do most jobs in public health.  Homeless services educators can expect a projected creation of over 21,000 positions within the next decade, which indicates a 21% increase over current employment numbers.  If you are interested in working in public health, and want to be of service to special populations within the community, then a career as a homeless services educator offers you a rewarding way to obtain job satisfaction and stability.   

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