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Director of Shelters

Groundworks Collaborative

Groundworks Collaborative was established in 2015 following the merger of two well-established organizations: the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center and Morningside Shelter (having previously been in existence for 27 and 36 years respectively).  We work with people and systems creating solutions to end hunger and homelessness for all people in our region.  We envision a community in which all people have their basic needs met, including a safe and dignified place to call home.

Position Title: Director of Shelters

Reports To: Executive Director

Position Classification: Full-Time Exempt

Salary Range: $65,000 - $80,000/Annual, we are proud to offer benefits valued at $19,000/year. 

Position Summary

The Director of Shelters oversees Groundworks’ two shelters, which operate 24/7, and will likely oversee additional programs over time.  As the senior clinically trained staff member, the Director of Shelters is responsible for delivering programmatic and operational excellence, building a great place to work and volunteer, and promoting seamless integration between Groundworks’ programs and services.  This position has the creative opportunity to enhance programs, develop new initiatives, implement a theory of change and set high service-delivery standards to ensure that the shelters embody our philosophy of dignity and respect.  

The Director of Shelters directly supervises two Shelter Coordinators, and indirectly supervises a staff of approximately twenty.  This position is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective operations and for building a welcoming and collaborative team environment marked by nonjudgmental and compassionate care.  The Director of Shelters facilitates program planning, evaluation, and continuous improvement, monitors evolving community needs, and develops new services as needs emerge.  This position also ensures that Groundworks’ shelters comply with all federal, state, town and private funding regulations, certifications, and licensing requirements.  As a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), the Director of Shelters provides agency-wide leadership to ensure the overall success of Groundworks’ programs, workplace and impact.



  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills that inspire a dynamic team environment.

  • Leads change and develops new systems using a creative and innovative lens.

  • Outstanding people leadership and supervisory skills including recruitment, onboarding, expectation and goal setting, feedback giving and coaching.

  • Delegates effectively, involves people in decisions that affect them and builds effective teams.

  • Manages complex operations and scheduling thoughtfully and strategically.

  • Embraces continuous learning in leadership, operations and program excellence. 

  • Flexible, can be hands-on and multitask in a fluid and fast-paced work environment.

  • Strong time management skills, prioritizes competing tasks and meets deadlines. 

  • Highly organized, plans effectively, pays attention to details and accuracy.

  • Remains calm under pressure, models effective stress management and self-care.

  • Analyzes problems/issues, gathers data and information, and finds effective solutions.

  • Exercises solid judgment and critical thinking.

  • Knowledge of budget planning, program evaluation and grants management.

  • Balances the needs of clients as a whole with individual client needs, with a steadfast commitment to fairness, consistency and consideration of individual circumstances. 

  • Exhibits empathy while maintaining professional boundaries.

  • Personal commitment to social justice, anti-racism and equity. 

  • Understands trauma-informed care and program design.

  • Understands complex challenges associated with poverty, addiction and mental health.

  • Knowledge of area resources and systemic barriers; effectively navigates services.

  • Understands anti-oppression frameworks, mutual aid vs. charity in program design, harm reduction and the root causes of homelessness.

  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office or other software applications to retrieve data, create spreadsheets, and generate reports. 

Desired Qualifications

  • Masters in social work, public administration, business or human services related field 

  • Five or more years of senior nonprofit administrative, homeless services or housing experience 

  • Significant experience in supervising staff, team building and creating a great workplace.

  • Experience working with substance abuse, mental illness, and individuals with trauma histories.

  • Track record in evaluating, enhancing and managing programs, systems building, planning, budgeting and grants and data management.

  • Significant experience working with low income and diverse populations.

  • Experience in training and enhancing staff and volunteers’ skills in crisis intervention and a range of issues relating to mental health, substance abuse and homelessness.

  • Lived experience with poverty and/or housing or food insecurity.

  • Strong knowledge of community resources and experience in community engagement and navigating services. 

  • Passion for Groundworks’ mission, philosophy and nonjudgmental, compassionate approach.

  • Competency in using a computer.


Program Excellence (20%) 

  • Ensure shelters achieve the highest level of programmatic and operational excellence and provide great customer service through continuous quality improvement.

  • Communicate Groundworks’ philosophy, mission, values, theory of change and standards of excellence to staff, volunteers and external stakeholders. 

  • Maintain high service standards and ensure a compassionate, nonjudgmental approach.

  • Create annual program budgets and manage programs to those budgets. 

  • Co-facilitate Operations Team meetings and enable the seamless integration of Groundworks’ programs and services.

  • Maintain current knowledge of resources and effectively navigate community services.

  • Develop new programs and services in response to evolving community needs.

  • Develop clear goals, objectives and work plans that result in quality, responsive services; monitor progress regularly to ensure that goals and objectives are fulfilled.

  • Continuously observe and monitor programs; provide feedback to staff.

  • Facilitate rigorous staff and volunteer trainings to enhance skills and performance.

  • Formally evaluate programs quarterly; solicit client, staff and community feedback.

  • Report frequently on programmatic progress, challenges and improvements to ELT and board.

  • Identify improvement opportunities, lead change to adjust programs based on feedback.

Program Operations (20%) 

  • Ensure adequate staffing levels, anticipate staffing needs and maintain effective scheduling practices, including substitute/per diem staffing systems.  Provide direct staffing if needed.

  • Ensure that all staff initially receive robust onboarding and training.  

  • Continuously monitor and enhance the on-call system.

  • Ensure that all day-to-day operations meet the needs of clients, staff and volunteers.  

  • Develop and enhance systems to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Ensure shelters are clean, welcoming and comply with health and safety standards.

  • Update program policies, guidance, care standards, shelter rules, procedures, etc.

  • Ensure programs are in compliance with funder requirements.

  • Oversee the accurate, complete and timely collection and entry of program data.

  • Enhance the efficiency of data collection and management systems as needed.

  • Maintain program records and create monitoring reports for internal and external use.

  • Provide program data for government and private grant applications and reports.

  • Supervise and train data entry staff.

Staff and Volunteer Engagement (20%)  

  • Ensure shelters are fully staffed at all times through robust recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training and retention efforts.

  • Conduct weekly individual supervision meetings with direct reports.  Create priorities, development goals and work plans; observe staff, provide feedback, coaching, and technical assistance.

  • Foster direct reports’ leadership growth; evaluate performance annually.

  • Ensure supervisors set all staff and volunteers up for success through clear roles, at least bi-weekly 1:1 supervision, regular feedback, coaching, training and support. 

  • Ensure that all staff have development goals and that skills are assessed regularly.

  • Address employee relations, concerns or grievances.

  • Ensure exit interviews for all departing staff. 

  • Grow volunteer participation in Groundworks’ shelters and housing programs.

  • Ensure effective volunteer recruitment, engagement and retention. 

  • Support the hiring, onboarding, training and supervision of volunteers.

  • Monitor volunteers’ effectiveness, engagement and satisfaction.

Team and Culture Building (10%)

  • Create an exceptional workplace and a team culture of collaboration, ownership and leadership that attracts, fully engages and retains staff members and volunteers. 

  • Uphold, model and maintain Groundworks’ values.  Foster dedication to Groundworks’ service mission and a culture of understanding, compassion and positive regard for clients.

  • Ensure shelter team members embrace diversity, equity and inclusion.  

  • Enable staff and volunteer skill-building and understanding of anti-racist and anti-oppression frameworks, mutual aid vs. charity, and the root causes of poverty.

  • Convene or ensure Shelter Coordinators plan and facilitate regular, participatory team meetings that promote teamwork, ownership and collaborative problem-solving.

  • Train staff in skillfully managing/deescalating crisis situations, and in nonjudgmental and compassionate approaches to working with people in vulnerable situations.

  • Ensure staff understand Groundworks’ goals, priorities, budget and financial status.

  • Model accountability in relation to individual, programmatic and organizational goals.

  • Help lead staff Wellness Committee and facilitate wellness-related activities.

  • Submit stories capturing client and staff experiences for Groundworks’ communications.

Client Support (15-20%) 

  • Interact regularly with clients, build positive relationships. 

  • Develop and maintain capacity for providing direct services to clients experiencing a crisis.     

  • Work with clients to help navigate resources and transition to stable housing.

  • Manage and participate in on-call services, including evenings, weekends and holidays.

  • Provide skills consultation and/or access to clinical supervision for staff as needed.

  • Review all critical incident reports, ensure timely follow-up with staff and clients.

  • Help coordinate COVID-related efforts including safety protocols, internal testing system, tracking and monitoring cases, coordinating with state partners, providing staff updates, etc.     

Agency-Wide Leadership (5-10%)

  • Serve on the Executive Leadership Team; provide agency-wide strategic leadership, problem-solving, planning, coordination and communication.

  • Participate in and help facilitate effective Leadership Team meetings.

  • Model and uphold Groundworks’ values, policies and procedures; foster a great workplace.

  • Perform other duties as contributions to a collaborative and values-driven team.

Community Relations and Collaborations (5%)

  • Promote community awareness of Groundworks’ shelters, housing and other services.

  • Serve as an ambassador by regularly recruiting clients, donors, volunteers and staff.

  • Represent Groundworks in the community and the needs of the people we serve.

  • Cultivate community partnerships and collaborations with related service providers.

  • Engage in community meetings, advocacy and education around housing.

How to Apply:

Please email a resume and cover letter to


Job Location:

Brattleboro, VT

Date Added: May 1, 2022

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