Direct Services Coordinator

First Friends of NJ & NY | Kearny, New Jersey


First Friends of NJ & NY is a dynamic Kearny NJ based non-profit organization that runs the oldest and largest immigrant detention visitation program in the country. Established in 1997, the organization supports hundreds of immigrants detained in 4 NJ jails by providing volunteer visitors, bond funds and advocacy services. We also offer post-release services such as jail pickups, housing and transportation to reunite released immigrants with family members throughout the USA.

Job Summary

First Friends seeks full-time, bilingual (English/Spanish) Direct Services Coordinator to deliver post-release services and advocacy to people released from immigration detention; provide ongoing support and technical assistance to volunteers and conduct outreach in the community to build support systems for formerly detained immigrants to attain long term self-sufficiency and stability.

Reports To

Program Director


Essential Functions:

  • Manage caseload of post-release clients including completing intakes, needs assessments, maintaining case notes and tracking and follow up of clients through our database; 
  • Collaborate with volunteers, family members, attorneys, and partner organizations to provide necessary services for post-release clients including pickup, transportation and emergency housing;
  • Connect clients to longer term services which may include: housing, transportation, employment services, education, medical care, community orientation, and legal representation;
  • Provide training and on-going technical support to volunteers participating in First Friends programs, including ‘Circle of Welcome’, ‘Stamp Out Despair’ and other services;
  • Develop and implement ongoing support and skill development groups for post-release clients;
  • Provide tracking and follow up of First Friends bond fund;
  • Conduct bilingual detention hotline intakes, advocacy and interventions;
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with organizations involved in the coordination of services for people released from detention.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Stay up to date on asylee, immigrant, and immigration detention policies and services to improve programming;
  • Conduct presentations on immigration detention to diverse groups of stakeholders;
  • Prepare and submit reports in a timely manner to the Program Director;
  • Perform other related duties as requested by the Program Director.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Social Justice, Mental Health, International and/or Migration Studies or other related field required;
  • Fluency in written and oral English and Spanish is required;
  • 1-2 years’ experience in a position that requires direct service, advocacy and resource provision for vulnerable populations;
  • Ability to work varied hours, including nights and weekends required; willingness to travel and to visit individuals in jails and detention centers;
  • Access to reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated success working with immigrant populations, including individuals held in immigration custody;
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in racial and social justice; understanding interwoven forms of oppression;
  • Excellent time management and multi-tasking skills;
  • Ability to build mutually respectful relationships with co-workers, volunteers, formerly detained clients, stakeholders and the community;
  • Experience recruiting, training, and managing volunteers;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including public speaking;
  • Computer literacy, using word processing and database applications.

Candidates who have been directly affected by immigration detention or the mass incarceration system are highly encouraged to apply.


Commensurate with Experience

Please note that First Friends currently does not offer benefits


Flexibility in terms of work hours is important

How to Apply

Please email your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in and qualified for this position to Victor Salama, Executive Director of First Friends of NJ & NY at  Please email with the subject line, “Direct Services Coordinator.

First Friends of NJ & NY


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations