DOPES support worker- Casual

AVI Health & Community Services (AVI) is a multi-disciplinary community-based organization 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

Join our supportive, dedicated and client-centered team in promoting the health, dignity and well-being of all people affected by HIV, HCV and substance use by delivering sex-positive and harm reduction-based education, prevention and/or support services.

DOPS Team - Drop-in & Overdose Preventions Services – The DOPS Team will be responsible for operating both drop-in and overdose prevention services in Victoria, as well as supporting the daily operations of the HOPS, PACT (known locally as CLCR) & Safer teams.

Providing low barrier, harm reduction supports and services to community members marginalized from equitable care, the DOPS team will provide a range of programming that is responsive to the needs of the community, including: provision of a harm reduction informed drop-in space & overdose prevention services that seek to address gaps in services for persons surviving outside.

Drop-In and Overdose Prevention Services: Working within a social justice and health promotion framework, the AVI DOPS Team will provide minimum staffing for a safe, accessible drop-in space for community members who use substances, and/or who are marginalized from social care services. Drop-in programming will include access to harm reduction supports, as well as overdose prevention, witnessed consumption and peer-based services. With a commitment to meaningful relationships, the DOPS team will provide drop-in & overdose prevention services that center the needs and agency of the service user, including for community members barred from other social services. From the Drop-In harm reduction and education-based services, access to survival supplies, and food will be provided to community members.



The DOPS Programming Support Worker will provide a range of low barrier, harm reduction supports and services for persons/communities marginalized from equitable social and health care services, including drop-in & overdose prevention spaces and harm reduction programming, outreach and crisis intervention, supply distribution and overdose prevention/response.

This position relies heavily on the abilities of the worker to connect and develop relationships of trust and rapport with service users. A thorough understanding of the principles and practices of harm reduction, the impact of colonialism and system inequities on individual and population health, and the operationalization of trauma and violence practices are essential. This position requires a high level of self-awareness, empathy, ability to provide non-judgemental support with exceptional understanding of personal and community boundaries.  

The DOPS Programming Support Worker must demonstrate capacity to consistently attend work and contribute to a team dynamic in which minimum staffing requirements impact program delivery. This position relies on flexibility and self-motivation and the ability to support a team dynamic that is dependent upon flexible service delivery.

Confidence in overdose response, outreach and in-reach or place-based harm reduction programming are essential to this position. This position will also provide accurate information regarding the transmission and prevention of HIV, HCV, and other blood-borne illnesses, as well as evidence-based educational and harm reduction intervention to individuals and priority populations to increase knowledge of overdose prevention and response strategies as well as safer substance use.


1.      Provide harm reduction based, trauma-informed drop-in services and programming, including overdose prevention, witnessing and access to harm reduction, survival supplies and food.

2.      Provides responsive outreach that is dependent on the needs of the community served and which seek to address gaps in services and programming.

3.      Provides support to AVIs CLCR, SAFER & REST Teams, including facilitating access to harm reduction and survival supplies, de-escalation support and client follow-up.

4.      Provides outreach and support on a responsive/as-needed basis in a variety of settings.

5.      Provide safe, accessible drop-in space for community members, including access to harm reduction supports and supplies, overdose prevention, witnessing and peer-based support services.

6.      Provides on the spot, and group-based training in overdose response and education on substances and safer use practices 

7.      Uses brief assessment, active listening, and crisis response skills to help meet immediate, basic needs and make appropriate referrals for people who use substances and those who have survived overdose(s) to other health and support services within the community. 

8.      Monitor and support people who are using substances. Assess for overdose symptoms and respond with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary. Training is provided. 

9.      Responsible for harm reduction supply distribution and recovery

10.  Provide overdose prevention education and first aid response, including education on administration of Naloxone and overdose response.

11.  Engage with service users in a collaborative, person-centered approach grounded in harm reduction 

12.  Maintain 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.

13.  Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose.

14.  Maintain both paper and electronic confidential records, as required.

15.Provide training and support to build capacity for peer lead initiatives 

16.Perform other duties as assigned. 



·        Diploma in health or social services (Social Work, Psychology, Mental Health Support Worker, etc.) or equivalent direct or lived experience. 

·        Demonstrated capacity consistently attend work, ready to work and contribute to a team dynamic in which minimum staffing requirements impact program delivery. 

·        Have a minimum of one-year relevant work experience. 

·        First Aid training and experience responding to critical incidents, including overdose.

·        Experience with overdose response, including administration of naloxone, an asset.

·        Experience in providing harm reduction outreach in various situations and settings.

·        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 

·        Experience responding to overdoses, de-escalating crisis, and adjusting program delivery based on the needs of community and gaps in services.

·        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 safer drug use, OAT, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, mental health, etc.

·        Demonstrated cultural safety and humility, and trauma-informed 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.

·        Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication, and diffusing techniques. 

·        Ability to problem solve with creativity, flexibility, and assertiveness in dealing with complex issues.

·        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 coworkers, clients, community, and other service providers.

·        Strong working knowledge of local health and social services 

·        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.



  • Pay: $30.64/hour to start with stepped increases based on your seniority with AVI. (Pay for this role is based on the BCGEU pay grid 34)
  • Hours and Schedule: Casual basis with potential shifts falling between 1:30 pm to 9:30pm
  • Position: This is a casual position
  • Location: 713 Johnson Street
  • Start and End date: Asap and ending on March 31, 2025
  • Union: AVI is a union environment under the Collective Agreement: HEABC & Health Services & Support Community Subsector Association 2022-2025 and this role is a BCGEU union position.
  • 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 paid an extra 5% in lieu of vacation 5% in lieu of stats, meaning your hourly rate is actually 10% higher than listed.   
  • Proof of Vaccination Required: AVI is under BC's Health Services Order and continues to require proof of vaccination.
  • Hours of Work, Days Off and Work Area may be subject to change.


To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to This position is open until filled.

AVI is committed to equity and diversity, and we strongly encourage applications from, but not limited to, folks who identify as Indigenous Persons, persons of color, racialized, persons living with a disability, persons who use/d drugs, persons with experience of sex work, persons who live with HIV and/or hepatitis C, and persons representing diverse genders and sexualities.

It is beneficial to identify in the cover letter if you are Indigenous and/or have lived/living expertise relevant to the position.

Accommodation is 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.