Experiential Community Crisis Responder- Casual

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  

Join our supportive, dedicated and client-centred 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.

THE AVI COMMUNITY-LED CRISIS RESPONSE TEAM (CLCR) provides immediate low-barrier, harm reduction, trauma-informed support services to community members experiencing mental health, substance use and related crises.   

The team is comprised of experiential responders and mental health professionals supported by a supervisory and management structure. All crisis calls are attended by two team members who are trained in a range of trauma-informed crisis management and de-escalation, suicide intervention and advanced first aid techniques. The team also facilitates follow-up support to specialised services, case management, primary health care, housing support, mental health and substance use services.  

Our CLCR team provides services on the territories of the Ləkʷəŋən peoples (Esquimalt and Songhees nations).


The CLCR team will provide acute crisis support and de-escalation services for persons 13 years of age and older experiencing mental health and/or substance use related crises. The Experiential Community Crisis Responder will be responsible for rapid point of service mental health crisis management and de-escalation, including crisis and wellness assessment, suicide intervention and safety planning.  

Alongside the Community Crisis Counsellor, this role will employ client-centered, harm reduction and trauma informed approaches grounded in the needs and agency of the service user. In addition, the Experiential Community Crisis Responder Worker will provide point of service, trauma informed peer-based counselling and safety planning that grounds the delivery of service in respect and compassion.   


  1. Provide situational assessment and crisis de-escalation.  
  2. ‘Hold-space’ for persons/groups experiencing psychological/emotional distress.  
  3. Assess for wellness and safety plan, including triage to emergency services.
  4. Co-develop Care Plans and Safety/Wellness Plans by centering client agency and supporting community connection and access to social and health care services.
  5. Maintain confidential case notes, including safety and wellness assessments, client documentation and release of information.
  6. Provide outreach care and emergency mental health response and support to persons in a variety of settings, including parks, encampments, shelters, drop-in centers, people’s homes, and community centers and to people living outside.   
  7. Support immediate access to survival supplies, including access to: food, tents, tarps, blankets, clothing, harm reduction and safe sex supplies, etc.   
  8. First aid and overdose response including rescue breathing, oxygen and naloxone when necessary. 
  9. Foster safety by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents such as overdose and other medical emergencies.   
  10. Engage in point of service, trauma-informed, peer-based counselling and support  
  11. Work outdoors in all types of weather and in all seasons  
  12. Engage in Later Leadership Practices, including open communication, mutual support and collective accountability.
  13. Engage in Critical Practice Reflection and Community Accountability Processes.  
  14. Engage in planning, evaluation, reporting, and program development as directed.  
  15. Perform other duties as assigned.  


  • Minimum 3 years’ relevant experience. Experience with crisis de-escalation and harm reduction preferred. 
  • A living/lived experience of systems of oppression, including criminalization of illicit and street-based substances; victimization and persecution of mental health experiences; gender-, race-based and/or experiences of othering, particularly experiences of violent and/or harmful emergency services interventions.   
  • Demonstrated experience utilizing lived/living expertise in service delivery and advocacy.   
  • Extensive experience providing peer-based counselling and support for mental health and substance use concerns  
  • Experience working in a team/shared care environment  
  • Demonstrated capacity to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders including health services and Emergency Services Personnel   
  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices.   
  • Demonstrated ability to establish respectful rapport, provide support and advocate for a diverse range of individuals who are actively using substances, experiencing mental health crisis’s and living with significant barriers to their health and well-being.   
  • Demonstrated empathic observer invested in respectful relationship-building.   
  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and knowledge in the areas of mental health response, harm reduction/health promotion practices, safer sex and safer drug use practices, addictions, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, poverty and trauma.   
  • Demonstrated practice of social justice, cultural humility, trauma-informed and public health approaches and models of social support and health care.   
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and diffusing techniques.  
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, find innovative solutions and work independently.  To use resourceful and creative problem solving to find effective solutions and to meet people where they are at both physically in community and in their experience 
  • Valid Class 5 BC Driver’s License with “Normal” Drivers Status  
  • Driver’s Abstract (AVI will review the past year’s driving record. Drivers will need to have no suspensions or prohibitions or 1 passenger only restrictions or a high Driver's Factor)
  • Commitment to honor Indigenous communities and ways of knowing, and approach learning about the ongoing impacts of colonial violence with humility. 


  • Pay: $33.00/hour to start with stepped increases based on your seniority with AVI. (Pay for this role is based on the BCGEU pay grid 38) 
  • Hours and Schedule: We are hiring multiple shifts to cover our 7 day per week program. Candidates can list which shifts they would like to work, and the details of the schedule can be worked out with the successful candidates.  Casual Shifts falling between Monday to Sunday 7:00 am to 1:00 am
  • Afternoon and Night Shift Premium for Some Shifts: Afternoon Shift Premium of an additional $0.25/hour applies to any shifts that have at least 50% of their time scheduled between 4 pm and midnight and $2.50/hour applies to any shifts that have at least 50% of their time scheduled between 12am and 8am. As such, some of the shifts of this ad qualify for an additional $0.25/hour premium and $2.50/hour.
  • Position: This is a casual position ending on March 31, 2024
  • Location: AVI Victoria, responding to crisis and in the community and where as needed.
  • 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 jobs@avi.org by October 9, 2023, at 5 pm.

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 colour, 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.

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.