We're Hiring: Casual Harm Reduction Support Worker - Courtenay and Campbell River

Summary of the Position:

Grid Level: Grid 34, $24.38/hour

Work Location: 713 Johnson Street

Hours of Work: Variable hours that range between 8:30 – 4:00 Monday through Thursday and 10:45 – 3:15 Friday through Sunday.

Start Date: ASAP

To Apply: Please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@avi.org by 5pm on September 26, 2019

Job Summary:

The Casual Harm Reduction Support Worker provides a broad range of low barrier, harm reduction supports to individuals accessing harm reduction programming and services at AIDS Vancouver Island.

The Casual Harm Reduction Support Worker will provide evidence-based educational and harm reduction interventions to individuals and priority populations to increase knowledge regarding HIV and other blood-borne disease transmission and prevention strategies, and facilitate behavior change to prevent transmission.

The Casual Harm Reduction Support Worker will provide oversight, support, and overdose response, including the administration of oxygen or rescue breathing and Naloxone, to people using illicit substances in AVI’s Overdose Prevention Room.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Responsible for harm reduction supply distribution and recovery
  2. Provides education and support regarding safer drug use and safer sex, HIV, hepatitis C, and STIs
  3. Provides overdose prevention education and first aid response, including education on the administration of Naloxone
  4. Monitor and support people who are injecting in the Overdose Prevention Room. Assess for overdose symptoms and respond with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary. Training is provided.
  5. Uses brief assessment, active listening and crisis response skills to help meet immediate, basic needs and make appropriate referrals to other health and support services within the community
  6. Engages with clients in a collaborative, person-centered approach grounded in harm reduction
  7. Maintains the safety of all program spaces by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents (such as overdose prevention and response), including the ability to use communication devices (cell phone/2-way radio)
  8. Facilitates workshops and support groups related to increasing health and wellness
  9. Works in collaboration with partner agencies to provide a continuum of services
  10. Maintains both paper and electronic confidential client files as required
  11. Engages in planning, evaluation, and program development as directed
  12. Performs other duties as assigned


  • Diploma in health or social services (Social Work, Psychology, Mental Health & Addictions Support Worker, etc.), or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Valid Class 5 BC Driver’s License
  • Valid First Aid Certification and experience responding to critical incidents
  • Harm Reduction Support Workers will have a minimum of one (1) year relevant work experience and will demonstrate the following minimum requirements:
  • Direct service delivery experience in the community social services sector with a demonstrated working knowledge of community-based programs and related provincial and community support services systems
  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and knowledge in the areas of safer drug use, addictions, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, mental health, etc.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of social justice, health promotion and public health approaches and models of social support and health care
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices
  • Demonstrated ability to establish rapport with a diverse range of clientele including individuals who are actively using substances and living with significant health challenges;
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and de-escalation skills
  • Experience with overdose response, including administration of naloxone, is an asset.
  • Ability to apply sound judgement: stay grounded and use creativity, flexibility, and assertiveness when working through complex and often urgent situations
  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance and role of people who use drugs in the development, delivery, and evaluation of services intended to benefit them
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required to work effectively with co-workers, clients, community, and other service providers

Skills and Abilities:

  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position
  • Ability to work independently and in cooperation with others
  • Ability to operate related equipment
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to organize and prioritize
  • Ability to observe and recognize changes in clients
  • Ability to establish and maintain rapport with clients
  • Ability to analyze and resolve problems
  • Conflict resolution and crisis intervention skills
  • Advocacy skills
  • Leadership experience
  • Ability to work with a diverse and often unpredictable street involved clientele
  • Demonstrated skills, experience and knowledge in the areas of harm reduction/health promotion practices, safer using practices, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, poverty issues, mental health concerns and addictions
  • Ability to work under pressure and in crisis situations
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Understanding of diversity issues
  • Understanding of the psycho-social issues affecting people who use drugs

We encourage applications from, but not limited to, indigenous persons, persons of colour, persons living with disabilities, persons who use/d illicit drugs, persons with experience of sex work, and persons representing diverse genders and sexualities.