AVI Health & Community Services (AVI) is a multi-disciplinary community based organisation providing HIV, hepatitis C and harm reduction services out of 5 locations across Vancouver Island. AVI provides services to people living with HIV and hepatitis C and harm reduction clients. We take evidence-based action to prevent infection, provide support, and reduce stigma. We work within a social justice and health promotion framework to ensure equity and access to services for all. At the core of what we do is our ability, and commitment to, creating meaningful connections. Every day, we strive to create meaningful connections between clients and staff, between peers, between staff members, between organizations, between communities, and between funders and impactful programs. For more info see www.avi.org
This position will work in a flexible, community based, harm reduction program that provides safer, pharmaceutical alternatives to the currently toxic drug supply. This program operates in conjunction with AVI’s existing programs and services, including the Positive Wellness Program for people living with or at risk of HIV/hepatitis C, health promotion education, youth advocacy and outreach, and drop-in harm reduction services. Our services are delivered on the traditional territory of the K'ómoks peoples.
Under the direct supervision of the Systems Navigator or designate, the Outreach Support Worker applies their lived/living experience of drug use to build and maintain relationships with program participants. They will practice harm reduction in their relationships to build trust and provide peer support. The Outreach Support Worker will be integral to helping to establish and maintain a positive, respectful environment and to act as an AVI ambassador in the community.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Work collaboratively with the team to identify potential participants, provide information regarding access to pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs, and assist with assessments and intakes.
- Provide peer support in a variety of settings including at the on-site program space, parks, encampments, shelters, supported housing units, and drop-in centres.
- Distribute safer drug use supplies, safer sex supplies and naloxone kits, and provide information and training about their use.
- Monitor and support program participants who are using substances. Assess for overdose symptoms and respond with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary.
- Maintain the safety of all program spaces by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents.
- Provide harm reduction information and referrals for other health and social services.
- Connect regularly with program participants to offer peer support through active listening skills and non-judgmental attitude.
- Liaise between participants, systems navigators, nurses and physicians to support participants to be heard and assist with keeping communication open and accessible.
- Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose.
- Contribute to a positive, respectful environment at the program space and act as a an AVI ambassador in the community.
- Attend regularly scheduled team meetings and individual supervision meetings.
- Keep records and participate in team charting to assure comprehensive documentation.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Minimum two years’ experience working within harm reduction settings. Experience working with safer supply programs, an asset.
- Have lived/living experience with drug use and related health and social barriers. 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.
- To comply with current BC Public Health Orders, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have an approved medical exemption. Proof of vaccination status will be required for successful applicants for positions covered by the order.
- Experience responding to critical incidents and overdose, including administration of naloxone.
- Have a current knowledge of the local drug trends and can relate as a peer with program participants.
- 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.
- Interest in learning and eager to share information with peers with a non-judgmental attitude.
- Demonstrated understanding of the importance and role of people who use drugs in the development, delivery, and evaluation of services intended to benefit them
- Working understanding of the importance of confidentiality and boundaries.
- Working knowledge in the areas of harm reduction, safer drug use, OAT, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, mental health, etc.
- Commitment to honor Indigenous communities and ways of knowing, and approach learning about the ongoing impacts of colonial violence with humility.
- Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Ability to work in cooperation with a variety of stakeholders, including coworkers, management, program participants, and community partners.
- Ability to communicate clearly and with respect, both verbally and in writing.
- Ability to approach and initiate conversations with others and build respectful rapport.
- Ability to observe for changes in health and well-being in program participants.
- Ability to work in a complex and dynamic work environment while keeping a ‘cool head’.
- Ability and willingness to engage in proactive problem solving when tense situations arise.
- Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position and operate related equipment.
- Ability to work outdoors during all types weather in all seasons.
- Pay: $26.42/hour to start with stepped increases based on your seniority with AVI. (Pay for this role is based on the BCGEU paygrid 34)
- Hours and Schedule: From 15 to 37.5 hours per week with shifts falling on Monday through Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, specific shifts to be determined based on each successful candidate’s availability.
- Position Term: Position runs to July 29, 2023
- Union: AVI is a union environment under the Collective Agreement: HEABC & Health Services & Support Community Subsector Association 2019-2022 and this role is a BCGEU union position.
- Benefits: This position will be eligible for extended health, life and AD&D coverage after 488 hours with AVI. AVI pays for the entire cost of the plan on behalf of its staff.
- Pension: If you are already a member of the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP), you can continue with them at AVI immediately. At this time, AVI contributes an additional 9.31% towards your pension account. If you are not already a member of the Municipal Pension Plan, part time staff may become eligible after 2 years with AVI.
- Other Perks: This position gets 6% vacation (equivalent to 3 weeks), receives Stat in Lieu payments of 4.6% on each paycheque and has a Sick Bank of 6.9%. Sick and Vacation are both accessible after your first 488 hours at AVI.
To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume to email@example.com by 5pm on August 10, 2022
We strongly encourage applications from, but not limited to, folks who are living with or at risk of HIV, who identify as Indigenous, as a person of colour, as a person who is racialized, as a person living with a disability, as a person who uses or used drugs, as a person with experience engaging in sex work, as a person who lives with HCV, and/or persons who represent a diversity of sexual orientations and genders.
Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.
As AVI is a union environment, internal staff will be prioritized in the hiring process.
We would like to thank all those that apply but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.