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Company Name:
Distress Centre Calgary
Approximate Salary:
Not Specified
Calgary, Alberta
Position type:
Full Time
Experience level:
Not specified
Education level:
Bachelor's Degree

Financial Empowerment Strategist


Employment Opportunity

Fulltime 40hr/week Financial Empowerment Strategist

Closing Date: June 27th, 2018 



About Distress Centre

Distress Centre has a 40 year legacy of creating lasting social impact as one of the essential services in Calgary’s network of care in the community. Together, our staff and volunteers create a unique culture and supportive work environment that sets us apart. Distress Centre staff do not simply have an interest in helping others; they share a commitment to achieving results. Distress Centre provides staff with the support, resources, and opportunities needed to grow and create change for our community.

Six core competencies have been chosen as the overall skills, abilities and/or knowledge needed to excel as an employee at Distress Centre Calgary. We believe that these six core competencies are what give Distress Centre Calgary an advantage in creating a desired organizational culture for the DC’s employees and volunteers and in delivering quality services to our clients. Employees are also evaluated on their performance in these six areas. The core competencies are: Client/Service Centered Work, Organizational Effectiveness, Teamwork & Communication, Ethics & Values, Ownership & Initiative and Self-Management.

About SORCe

The Safe Communities Opportunity and Resource Centre, or SORCe, is multi-agency collaborative that connects people experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness and/or those with complex barriers such as mental or physical vulnerabilities, or socio-economic need, to programs and services that can help to address their needs. As a partner in the SORCe collaborative, Distress Centre Calgary operates the 211, Coordinated Access and Assessment and Financial Empowerment programs at SORCe.

Job Objective

As part of a wraparound supports collaboration, the Financial Empowerment Strategist provides frontline service delivery to connect clients experiencing or facing homelessness to programs and services that will strengthen their financial inclusion and build their financial stability.


  • Financial Empowerment Strategist
    • Collaborate with other SORCe agency staff in the provision of wraparound supports including information, advocacy, and referrals to agencies both within the SORCe collaborative and in the community. 
    • Provide empowerment, advocacy and financial problem solving supports to help clients experiencing financial instability to navigate complex systems such as the CRA and the banking system.
    • Provide guidance, tools, and resources for clients to stabilize their financial situation and achieve their financial goals.
    • Make referrals to other Financial Empowerment programs and services in the City as needed.
    • Provide outreach services on a limited basis to support clients in the achievement of their financial empowerment plans.
    • Conduct financial assessments of individuals and families.
    • Support clients with completing and filing their taxes either directly or via community based programs to maximize government income and benefits.
    • Provide information about and support clients to access government asset building programs such as RESPs and RDSPs.
    • Help clients to access safe and affordable financial products and services from mainstream financial institutions.
    • Assisting newly eligible seniors in the transition from income support to pension benefits.
    • Work with the FEC Backbone (Momentum) to contribute to the body of knowledge around providing financial empowerment programming for clients who are experiencing or facing homelessness.
    • Participate in Financial Empowerment Collaborative (FEC) meetings and relevant communities of practice, as capacity allows.
    • Utilize and stay up to date on existing Financial Empowerment tools, resources and best practices that have been developed by the FEC and its partners
    • Participate in professional development opportunities through the FEC


  • General SORCe Duties
    • Collaborate and coordinate with all agencies at SORCe in the effective delivery of collaborative programs and services.
    • Facilitate intake and profile creation for new SORCe clients.
    • Assess client needs, provide information, and facilitate connections to programs within the SORCe collaborative or in the community. 
    • Build rapport and establish trust with clients over time to address complex needs.
    • Advocate on behalf of clients for programs at SORCe or in the community.
    • Maintain complete and accurate records in the SORCe database.
    • Develop and maintain inter-agency relationships and partnerships both within SORCe and in the community to ensure successful connections for SORCe FE clients.
    • Leverage Distress Centre crisis intervention training as necessary to ensure the wellbeing of all SORCe clients.

The duties and responsibilities outlined above are representative but not all inclusive. Other related duties as required.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in a human service related field.
  • Knowledge of and/or demonstrated experience in the delivery of homelessness support services, including housing, mental health, addiction and/or domestic violence would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of community resources both within and outside of the homelessness system of care.
  • Demonstrated experience working with highly complex individuals, and the ability to maintain composure under pressure.
  • Demonstrated experience working in an unpredictable and occasionally fast paced environment with competing priorities.
  • Knowledge and/or expertise in personal finance and the financial system, including relevant legislation, income benefit programs, and other government programs and policies.
  • Completion of Momentum’s Financial Literacy Training and Bow Valley College’s Financial Coaching training would be an asset but on the job training will be provided. 
  • Experience with U-file and CRA tax filing programs and documentation would be an asset.
  • Understanding and demonstrated experience in crisis assessment and intervention.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively in a team environment and independently.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Knowledge of and/or ability to learn client data management systems.

Lines of Communication/Accountability

  • Reports to the Director of Programs at SORCe

Special Working Conditions

  • This is a one year term position with the possibility of extension dependent on funding. 
  • General working hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30-4:30.
  • Employed by Distress Centre Calgary but operates out of SORCe 

No calls please, candidates will be contacted.

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