Lead Shelter Assistant

Job Title:  Lead Shelter Assistant

Supervised By:  Residential Program Manager

Hours & Status:  Full-Time Non-Exempt; Sunday 12pm-8pm and Monday-Thursday 4pm-12am)

Salary & Benefits: $16.00 per hour; generous PTO; 11 Paid holidays; health, dental benefits and HSA with employee match; Simple IRA with employee contribution                             


Join our team of skilled and ambitious professionals who share a dedication to serving and enhancing the voices of survivors of relationship abuse and human trafficking. Under general supervision of the Residential Program Manager, the Lead Shelter Assistant is responsible for updating and maintaining shelter assistant checklists, inventory, and shelter needs log and shopping lists. The Lead Shelter Assistant also assists the Residential Program Manager with the onboarding of new shelter assistance through shadow shifts and training support.  In addition to lead duties, shelter assistants are responsible for crisis intervention and ensuring safety and security of the domestic violence emergency shelter. Shelter assistants are also responsible for providing trauma-informed, client-centered supportive services as needed for residents and their children living at Safe Haven’s shelter.

In this role, you have an opportunity to develop crisis response skills and provide critical support and care to those experiencing domestic violence and human trafficking. You will work alongside a dedicated team with plenty of opportunity to grow and develop your own skills. 


Safe Haven Ministries – a nonprofit organization located in Grand Rapids, Michigan – believes in a multi-faceted approach to serving victims/survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and exploitation, while also working to prevent these types of violence in our community. Safe Haven offers comprehensive intervention services, including: confidential emergency shelter; transitional and rapid re-housing; psycho-educational support groups; individual case management and advocacy; children and youth support services; crisis services; and mobile advocacy; and primary prevention training and outreach for the entire community.

SUMMARY OF DUTIES (Essential Functions)

  • Strive to create a caring and safe environment marked by empathy, understanding and acceptance
  • Provide training and onboarding information to incoming shelter assistants
  • Provide crisis intervention, support and referral to individuals reaching out for crisis support
  • Be available to clients to discuss problems and concerns by using active listening, problem solving skills, and empathy in a professional manner
  • Complete emergency intake and exit procedures as needed 
  • Maintain appropriate and accurate data collection and documentation 
  • Assist with monitoring and ensuring the safety and well-being of the residential facility, including, but not limited to, routine health and safety checks, fire and tornado drills, as well as, implementing preventative measures needed to ensure the safety of clients and their children
  • Assist with monitoring the status and condition of shelter safety products, such as smoke detectors, carbon dioxide, fire extinguishers, fire aid kit. 
  • Assist with monitoring, completing and delegating general tasks related to the shelter facility, including cleanliness and organization, maintenance issues, supply inventory, and building and grounds upkeep
  • Communicate the health and safety needs of shelter to the Residential Program Manager
  • Ensure shelter policies/procedures are followed by all residents and provide support to residents through an empathetic and trauma-informed approach
  • Employ de-escalation and conflict resolution strategies to help resolve difficulties among/between clients as they arise
  • Assist with tasks such as sorting donations, taking inventory, cleaning, and laundering in order to maintain an organized and safe shelter environment  
  • Maintain and inventory current needs of current perishable foods, and regularly rotate and dispose of old perishable/frozen food
  • Assist with seasonal tasks such as shoveling snow, and salting designated areas
  • Assist advocates with children’s educational support groups as necessary
  • Observe professional confidentiality; protect the rights of clients and their families, and observe the Safe Haven Ministries Code of Ethics at all times  
  • Attend and participate in monthly professional development, individual supervision meetings, shelter assistant meetings, and other meetings as assigned 


  • A minimum of a high school diploma/or GED is required 
  • Additional education in social work, psychology, or related field is preferred  
  • Knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence strongly preferred  
  • Active listening, crisis intervention, and problem resolutions skills required  
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills required  
  • Ability to work independently  
  • Ability to lift up to 20 pounds  
  • Good written and oral communication skills  
  • Ability to communicate with individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Bilingual in Spanish preferred but not required
  • Valid Michigan Driver’s License and reliable transportation

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees in this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and/or qualifications of employees assigned to this job. Employees are required to perform other duties as requested, directed, or assigned.

Safe Haven is an equal opportunity employer and dedicated to a policy and culture of non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants. People with disabilities, people of color, indigenous people and LGBTQIA+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply for this position, please visit www.shmgr.org/careers