Depaul: Homeless Health Peer Advocacy (HHPA) Coordinator


Depaul believes that everyone should have a place to call home and a stake in their community. Our aim is to work with those who are socially excluded and marginalised by providing a quality led service in order to produce the best possible outcomes for those accessing our services. We strive to empower our service users to make choices and decisions about the way they live their lives. We work in partnership with central and local government, housing associations and other non-governmental organisations.

Depaul is an equal opportunities employer, we offer a standard 35 hour working week, generous leave entitlements and a pension scheme. We support all staff with regular supervision and core training.

Depaul wishes to recruit for the following role:

Homeless Health Peer Advocacy (HHPA) Coordinator

1 year Fixed Term, Full Time (35 hours per week)

Based in Dublin services

€29,793.21 per annum

1. Role

To assist in the development and delivery of Homeless Health Peer Advocate (HHPA) Programme funded by the HSE Social Inclusion Health Service at both hospitals. The HHPA Coordinator will deliver an efficient and high quality service to the participants in the Homeless Health Peer Advocate Programme and their peers, evaluate outcomes and support peer-led research. The role will involve recruiting, training, mentoring and supervising a team of Homeless Health Peer Advocates based on the model developed by Groundswell in London, UK.

The HHPAs will also inform the design and ongoing improvement of the Inclusion Health Service. The Inclusion Health Service will shortly commence a HSE/Genio Service Reform Fund sponsored Homeless Hospital Discharge Programme Pilot, and the HHPAs will play a vital role in helping the team to develop the service to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. The HHPAs will also be involved in identifying research priorities and in carrying out peer-led research. This post may involve some evening and weekend work. The HHPA Co-ordinator is responsible for the maintenance and development of the HHPA Programme.

The HHPA Coordinator will be line managed by and responsible to the Clinical Governance Manager and Homeless Hospital Discharge Project Manager (HSE Social Inclusion). S/he will work in conjunction with internal and external agencies to recruit candidates.

2. Key Areas of Responsibility

Peer Recruitment, Selection and Staffing

  • Recruitment of Homeless Health Peer Advocates
  • To liaise with the internal/external agencies to promote recruitment of a sufficient number of participants to run the programme
  • To ensure that HHPAs are inducted, trained and supported to adhere to all Depaul HHPA policies and procedures particularly those relating to Confidentiality, Code of Practice, Boundaries, Equal Opportunities, Risk Management and Lone Working issues
  • To provide regular supervision and support to the HHPAs in carrying out of their tasks and supporting individuals in the community to engage with health care supports
  • To ensure a safe and secure environment for participants ensuring required risk assessment processes are carried out in relation to all activities and where necessary risk management plans are implemented.

Peer Training, Support and Performance Management

  • In conjunction with the Inclusion Health and Depaul’s Health Initiative: organise, design, and facilitate HHPA training course and additional training where needs arise.
  • To work with Befriending Coordinator on shared learning opportunities and participate in social/fundraising events
  • To attend weekly Inclusion health MDTs and case conferences as required
  • To organise and facilitate HHPA team meetings on a weekly basis
  • To provide link in’s and support to all HHPAs in their role, and act as on-call support while HHPA’s on visits
  • To support HHPA skills development and caseload management, coordinate appointments/transport and provide cover for visits where necessary
  • To oversee and inform management of any issue that appears to compromise any Depaul Policy, Procedure or practice.
  • To inform management and escalate complaints by HHPAs and those receiving support
  • To organise an HHPA graduation and recognition events for participants
  • To adhere to all Depaul Policies and procedures.

In-reach service, Health Promotion and Peer Development Programme

  • To support HHPA in-reach into homeless services to recruit potential participants and the HHPA service
  • Provide support HHPAs to provide Health promotion advice and information to people experiencing homelessness accessing accommodation and day services.
  • To support training and roll out of Peer Overdose awareness and Management Programme
  • Support further education, training and employment opportunities for the HHPAs

Partnership Work

  • To work in line with expected framework and close fidelity to Groundswell’s model
  • Provide reports to Inclusion Health/funders on developments and delivery of the project and ensure the programme is run to reflect the standards and ethos of Depaul
  • Provide monthly and quarterly reports to the line manager and funders, and work with Steering Group to ensure KPI’s being met
  • To represent the project internally and externally at development forums, conferences and keep informed of relevant changes to policies and procedures that are relevant to the development and success of the project (e.g. fundraising & communications)
  • To attend Inclusion Health forum meetings and Service Delivery Planning meetings as required
  • To build up good working relationships with other projects and agencies in the homeless sector and attend where possible relevant networks

The above list is not exhaustive; additional areas of responsibility both in relation to tasks and direct reports may be added over time.

3. Person Requirements


  • An understanding of the need of vulnerable people to have strong social networks and support in the community (essential)
  • Experience working/volunteering with vulnerable people and related health issues (essential)
  • Minimum one-year experience working/volunteering in homelessness, health, social care, employment and training, addiction or treatment services field or another related area (essential)
  • Experiencing of key working, recovery coaching or case management (essential)
  • Experience in delivering training and/or group facilitation (essential)
  • Experience of supervision, managing people and strong administrative skills (desirable)
  • Be secure in recovery if relevant
  • Lived experience of homelessness and/or related issues will be taken into special consideration


  • A secondary level education is essential.
  • Third level qualification in relevant area is desirable.


  • An understanding of why people become homeless, their presenting health needs and the barriers to accessing health services.
  • Experience of risk management systems and working within a process of risk reduction/control as part of the daily operations of the programme.
  • Capacity to engage with and gain the trust of participants.
  • An understanding of the benefits of peer programmes and the ability to support and motivate participants to work in innovative ways Ability to deliver training to volunteers.
  • Experience of the challenges involved in lone working and how this may impact on the training needs of Homeless Health Peer Advocates
  • Knowledge of the statutory and voluntary sector resources and referral pathways to health care.
  • An interest in peer led initiatives, research and a commitment to supporting HHPAs into further education and employment opportunities
  • Ability to be a flexible, participating and co-operative member of a team.
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing and good listening skills.
  • Ability to use initiative, apply sound decision making skills and to make rapid assessments of the needs of HHPAs and participants.
  • Ability to act calmly in emergencies and respond in a professional manner to challenging and stressful situations.
  • Ability to liaise effectively with staff at all levels as well as outside agencies and to advocate on behalf of HHPA and participants.
  • A good knowledge of Health and safety and risk management systems.
  • Strong organizational, administrative and data collection skills including experience in report writing or policy development
  • Strong sense of advocacy and commitment to health equity and social justice


  • A commitment to and an understanding of equal opportunities and diversity issues.
  • A belief in the value and potential of peers working in the area of health and homelessness
  • Respect for the values and beliefs of Depaul and the founding partners.
  • To work professionally with clear boundaries at all times


  • Good Computer literacy including Microsoft Word, Excel, Email and Google Drive
  • Ability to support and motivate individuals within the programme

Online Application Procedure:

Please apply though our online application process on the vacancies page of our website

For more information, please contact Human Resources:
Tel: 00 353 1 453 7111 or e-mail

Closing date for all applications: 22nd January 2021 at 9 am

Panels will be formed from which future vacancies may be filled

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
8th Jan, 2021
Expiry Date
22nd Jan, 2021