We're Hiring: Westshore Harm Reduction Outreach Support Worker - Temporary

Summary Position

Grid: 34, $25.40/hour

Work Locations: 111-2787 Jacklin Rd, outreach and  in community in the Westshore

Hours of Work: 33.2 hours/week - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 7.5 hours per day and Wednesday 4 hours

Start Date: ASAP

End Date: November 9, 2020 or the return of the incumbent

To apply: please submit your resume and cover letter to jobs@avi.org 

Job Summary:
The Westshore Harm Reduction Outreach Support Worker provides a broad range of low barrier, harm reduction supports to individuals accessing harm reduction programming and services in the Westshore area.
The Westshore Harm Reduction Outreach 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 Harm Reduction Outreach Support Worker will also assist in providing specific programming, education, and support relating to substance use, sexual health/sexual decision-making harm reduction and overdose prevention.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:
Under the direct supervision of the Manager of Community Health, Westshore AVI Health Centre or designate, the Westshore Harm Reduction Outreach Support Worker will be engaged in the following activities:

  1. Distribute Naloxone to high use areas in the Westshore both on the street and within existing services
  2. Provide outreach to community services, camps, shelters, and to people’s homes, as needed
  3. Provide on the spot training in overdose prevention and response
  4. Provide education on substances and safer use techniques
  5. Respond to overdoses
  6. Drive patients and clients to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and other errands.
  7. Facilitate doctor and other medical and dental appointments
  8. Provide advocacy to clients including: helping them apply for services such as Income Assistance, disability, treatment/detox, legal aid and housing, as well as access to medical care or other supports and resources for clients.
  9. Support and connect patients of the AVI Westshore Health Clinic to doctors, nurses and social workers as needed
  10. Communicate and liaise with Westshore pharmacies.
  11. Transport substance samples from clients to the UVIC Drug checking project and communicate results to clients
  12. Provide training and support to build capacity for peer led initiatives
  13. Provide support and referral to people who have survived overdose(s) including Opiate Agonist Treatment (OAT) and other resources
  14. Engage with clients in a collaborative, person-centered approach grounded in harm reduction
  15. Collaborate and coordinate service delivery with other community partners including proactively building relationship with Indigenous led services in the Westshore
  16. 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
  17. Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose
  18. Assist staff and clients of health, housing and social services to access naloxone and other safety practices
  19. Recovers used harm reduction supplies
  20. Keep community informed about current trends in substances and any warnings/notices issued by Island Health
  21. Maintains both paper and electronic confidential client files as required
  22. Engages in planning, evaluation, and program development as directed
  23. Performs other related duties as assigned


  • Diploma in health or social services (Social Work, Psychology, Mental Health Support Worker, etc.), or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Valid BC Driver’s License and a reliable vehicle that can be used for work. Mileage and insurance costs related to transportation of clients reimbursed as per the BCGEU Collective Agreement.
  • Have a minimum of two years’ experience working within harm reduction outreach settings
  • First Aid training and experience responding to critical incidents
  • Experience with overdose response, including administration of naloxone
  • 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 ability to establish rapport with a diverse range of clientele including individuals who are actively using substances and living with significant health challenges
  • 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 substance use
  • Demonstrated experience working with HIV/AIDS, HCV and/or STI prevention and awareness and/or community development and support
  • Knowledge of cultural safety and humility practices
  • 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 as well as trauma informed practices
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and de-escalation techniques
  • Ability to approach complex issues with creativity, flexibility and assertiveness
  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance and role of people who use substances 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
  • Clear criminal record check for working with vulnerable populations.

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
  • Advocacy skills
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of people, who may be experiencing stress, trauma, stigma, etc.
  • 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.