Program Assistant, Homelessness Initiatives

LOCATION: Virtual placement anywhere in Canada, or option to work in our Edmonton office if preferred.

This position is approximately a 16 week internship, full-time work, beginning in September 2021 until December 2021. The wage is $19/hr.


RDN is a non-profit organization that focuses on supporting rural sustainability, and building capacity of rural communities & organizations. Part of our work includes distributing the federal government’s Reaching Home funding for all of rural Alberta, to organizations that address homelessness in their communities. RDN also assists communities in estimating rural homelessness and service needs, for which a very different approach is required in rural communities compared to urban centers. The Program Assistant, Homelessness Initiatives will assist in the delivery of the Reaching Home funding program, as well as participating in homelessness census work and other RDN projects where their skills and interests align.

This is an opportunity to gain valuable experience working in the non-profit sector, learning about rural homelessness and other challenges, and learning about project/funding delivery.


As this position is funded through the Young Canada Works in Both Official Languages program, certain eligibility requirements apply. Students must:

  • Have French as their first language, with advanced English written and oral skills. The intent of the program is to provide work experience in a student’s second language (English) to strengthen their language skills. This includes fully bilingual students.
  • Be between 16 and 30 years of age at the start of employment;
  • Have been a full-time high school, college, CEGEP or university student (as defined by their educational institution) in the semester preceding the YCW work assignment;
  • Intend to return to full-time studies in the semester following the YCW work assignment;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or have refugee status in Canada (non-Canadians holding temporary work visas or awaiting permanent status are not eligible);
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • Be willing to commit to the full duration of the work assignment;
  • Not have another full-time job (over 30 hours a week) during the Young Canada Works (YCW) work assignment.


Primary responsibilities:

  • Reviewing financial expense claims from the homelessness-serving agencies that are receiving funding. This includes referencing their project budgets, ensuring the correct amounts and dates have been submitted, and checking that the expenses are eligible for funding.
  • Communicating with the  organizations being funded on reporting requirements and questions.
  • Assisting with data and information collection about the results achieved through each of the funded projects. This helps the government understand where the funding is being used, the positive impacts each project is creating, and understanding the demographics of the groups being served. 
  • Developing training materials or process documents where possible to improve our processes, and provide additional support to groups that we fund. Making the process as clear as possible helps front-line organizations focus on the important work they are doing, and spend less time on reporting. 
  • Assisting with the data collection & input from homelessness estimations surveys being conducted in rural communities, as well as helping to write and proofread community reports on the results of the estimations. (Service providers in rural communities distribute surveys to their clients, who can self-identify their needs related to housing and social services. This information helps communities understand what services are needed, by how many people, and gain real data to help advocate for funding & support.)
  • Translating English materials, such as the call for proposals, into French as needed.

Other responsibilities as time permits:

  • Assist with the coordination of meetings for the provincial and national networks that RDN hosts, including preparing discussion topics, taking meeting minutes, and helping to find new members.
  • Assist with preparing grant applications.
  • Assist with other RDN projects and initiatives when additional capacity is needed on those projects, or if the student has particular areas of interest they would like to explore.


RDN is seeking a highly organized, detail-oriented team player with a passion for supporting rural communities, and an interest in administration, data collection and analysis, and/or project coordination.

  • Excellent communication (oral and written) skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational and time management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Ability to take initiative
  • Detail oriented
  • Proficient with computers and Microsoft Office programs, especially Word and Excel
  • Experience working or living in a rural community is an asset
  • Previous experience in related roles or through school classes is an asset


We are looking for a student undertaking post-secondary education, either at a bachelors or masters level. The non-profit sector requires people from every discipline, so a variety of backgrounds will be considered for this position. It is most important that a student is interested in the work. This position in particular would be great experience for someone studying administration, accounting, bookkeeping, social work, or project coordination.


RDN staff are currently working virtually due to COVID-19. This position can be completely virtual from any location in Canada. The student should be able to manage their time responsibly, and adhere to our virtual working policies including daily check-ins, work plans, and accountability.


Please send a resume and cover letter to as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.


RDN is a very entrepreneurial non-profit organization with a diverse team of ~25 staff, and a unique work environment. We have adapted our work style in light of the pandemic, and adopted long-term strategies that have increased staff productivity and satisfaction, including the option to work part-time from home and part-time in the office, having a 35 hour work week, and several flex-time options. We have a diverse, team-oriented and inclusive culture, we strive to help our staff grow as professionals, and encourage team members to explore their interests to develop new opportunities. To learn more about us, visit our website:

Submit an Application
For more information, please contact:

Lisa Bélanger