Helpline Specialist – Bilingual English-Spanish


Job Title: Helpline Specialist – Bilingual English-Spanish 

Department:   Community Helpline and Resource Center    Prepared By: Human Resources

Reports To:    Helpline Supervisor                                              Date Prepared: August 17, 2021

FLSA Status: Non-exempt, Full-time

This position requires an array of professional communication skills both technical and personal. It requires an individual to have the capacity to make decisions regarding the coordination of referrals to St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) volunteers, fellow SVdP staff and others and requires the ability to work independently and as a member of a team. 

This position supports SVdP’s entire mission by advocating for our neighbors and providing a compassionate, respectful response to calls for help by assessing and connecting our neighbors to available assistance programs. It requires the individual to have the versatility and the capacity to work effectively across multiple SVdP departments and to be able to communicate well with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.  The position also requires an ability to communicate in both English and Spanish. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following: Other duties may be assigned.

  • Thoughtfully and skillfully answer and manage client calls for assistance. Locate the caller’s geographical location on a map.  Document name, date of birth, family size, address, and relevant facts in regard to a person’s situation and needs. 

  • Enter information into the database accurately while interviewing, listening and assessing the neighbor’s needs and using a computer and cloud-based   phone system. Refer the caller to the appropriate SVDP volunteer group. 

  • Triage incoming neighbor phone calls from individuals in distress while responding with both compassion and skill, and by making an accurate assessment and referral to our SVdP assistance programs, and/or other agencies. 

  • Actively work with the Helpline Supervisor, Vincentian Support, Case Management and Centro Rendu teams by sharing essential information, engaging in trainings, and problem solving as needed. 

  • Offer reliable referrals to other community resources, advocate for neighbors and follow up on referrals. 

  • Work in collaboration with all agency departments to strengthen the mission and objectives of SVdP. 

  • Serve as a proactive and a reliable team player; perform other duties as directed by the supervisor. 

  • Assist in problem-solving neighbor and SVdP volunteer group conflict by listening to both sides of the story and giving honest feedback in the process as they work toward resolution. 

  • Ensure practices that protect the confidentiality of our neighbors in need. 

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below represent the knowledge, skill, and abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Bilingual listening, speaking and writing abilities in both English and Spanish are required as we have both an English and a Spanish Helpline. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field or three to five years related experience and/or training or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Experience in social work, counseling or crisis intervention work is preferred. 
  • Ability to listen patiently and nonjudgmentally, while responding with respect and compassion.   
  • Ability to understand clients who come from different cultural backgrounds or for whom English is a second language, and to ask appropriate clarifying questions to be sure that communication has been effective and accurate. 
  • Ability to read a map, to record addresses correctly, and use Google maps and our database maps to locate addresses or other locations correctly. 
  • Ability to do basic arithmetic (add, subtract, multiply and divide); Ability to handle numbers accurately without transposing digits. 
  • Ability to handle incomplete or unreliable information such as addresses and phone numbers, and ask appropriate questions or look up addresses on maps or websites to get accurate information.  Ability to solve problems and the ability to interpret a variety of instructions in written, oral, or graphic forms. 
  • Proficiency with using a computer, database experience, Microsoft Outlook email, Google maps and internet searches required.   

This job has no supervisory responsibilities.