We're Hiring: Harm Reduction Overdose Outreach Peer Worker - Comox Valley

Summary of the Position:

Grid Level: Grid 8A, $20.46/hour

Hours of Work: 20 hours per week - Wednesday and Thursdays from 11:30 – 6:30 and Friday from 11:30 – 7:00

Work Location:  AVI Courtenay/Comox, 355 6th St, Courtenay

Start Date:  February 13, 2019 

To Apply: To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to jobs@avi.org by 5:00pm on Thursday, January 31, 2019.

Job Summary:

The Harm Reduction Overdose Response Outreach Peer Worker will be part of an outreach team that will reach out to and engage with people who are using substances in their private residences to provide overdose prevention education and supports. The focus of this outreach is on supporting people who may be using alone. The Team will provide support and education to housing providers in order to ensure housing facilities are equipped to respond to the overdose crisis, overdose follow-up and prevent deaths.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Manager or designate, the Harm Reduction Overdose Response Outreach Worker will be part of an outreach team engaged in the following activities:

  1. Provide outreach based engagement and support and referral services to people who are using substances alone in private residences
  2. Provide outreach to peoples’ homes, community services and people living outside 
  3. Provide witnessed injection services as requested
  4. Distribute Naloxone to high use areas in Courtenay and surrounding communities to people who use drugs, services providers, community services etc.
  5. Provide on the spot training in overdose response
  6. Provide education on safer use techniques
  7. Respond to overdoses
  8. Provide training and support to build capacity for peer led initiatives
  9. Provide increased and enhanced training to peers on first aid practices, naloxone distribution and safer use practices
  10. Responsible for providing culturally safe and humility practices
  11. Share up-to-date information about local drug use trends and practices with coworkers and peers as they emerge
  12. Assist in service delivery with BC Housing and John Howard Society North Island
  13. Assist staff and clients of health, housing and social services to access naloxone and other safety practices
  14. Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose and provide overdose follow-up
  15. Engage and strengthen support networks such as friends and family
  16. Participate in ongoing job training
  17. Perform other duties as assigned


Education, Training, and Experience:

  • Have lived experience with drug use and related health and social conditions such as poverty, sex work, homelessness and/or other physical or mental health issues
  • Have personal experience accessing harm reduction services for safer drug use support and/or accessed other services designed to meet the needs of people who use substances
  • Have a current knowledge of the local street scene and cultural norms related to street life, and can relate as a peer
  • Peer support/education and/or leadership training preferred. For example, participation in AVI’s Street College Leadership Curriculum is an asset
  • Experience with overdose response, including administration of naloxone, is an asset.
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices
  • Demonstrated commitment to working in a team environment
  • Comfortable approaching and initiating conversation with others and ability to build good rapport
  • Interest in learning and eager to educate peers with a non-judgmental attitude
  • Working knowledge of local health and social services
  • Good communication skills including active listening
  • Working understanding of the importance of confidentiality and boundaries

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Ability to establish and maintain good rapport
  • Ability to work independently and in cooperation with others
  • Ability to follow direction, provide/receive feedback, and engage in proactive problem solving

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.