Harm Reduction Team Lead

AVI Health & Community Services (AVI) is a multi‐disciplinary community-basedorganization 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.

H.R.S. Teams ‐ Harm Reduction Services Teams, Including REST, DOPES & Mobile

The HRS Team provides services for people who use drugs and may be impacted by criminalization, systemic injustice and stigma. Relational care is foundational to the team in providing appropriate and accurate services. Folks accessing supplies for safer drug use, safer sex supplies, overdose prevention, response and the training are met with care and intention. Harm Reduction services provides supports in various locations as we continue to look for a home for publicly accessible harm reduction services for all.

The RES Team – Resident Responder Engagement and Support Team –responsible for operating AVIs supportive housing overdose prevention program. The RES Team provides a broad range of low barrier, evidence‐based harm reduction supports and education, including overdose prevention and debriefing support, systems navigation and organizational support for Peer Resident Responders living and working in Supportive Housing sites.

The DOPES Team – Drop-in Overdose Prevention & Education Services Team – Drop‐In: Working within a social justice and health promotion framework, the AVIDROPS 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, witnessing and peer‐based services.

OPR: Overdose prevention room – DOPES team provides oversight, support, and overdose response, including the administration of oxygen and Naloxone, to people using illicit substances in AVI’s Overdose Prevention Room.

The Mobile Team - The Mobile Harm Reduction team is an outreach team based out of Victoria which provides a broad range of low barrier, harm reduction supports, supplies and education to individuals in Greater Victoria (outside of the downtown core) and the Westshore who are otherwise unable to consistently access other existing Harm Reduction programming and services.


The HRS Team Lead will provide supervision and support to the REST, DOPES and Mobile teams. This position will support staff while also providing a range of low barrier, harm reduction supports and services for persons/communities marginalized from equitable social and health care services, including resident responder engagement and support, peer‐based educational programming and skills development, as well as systems navigation and advocacy for contracted Resident Responders.

This position relies heavily on the abilities of the team lead to connect and develop relationships of trust and rapport with staff and 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-judgmental support with exceptional understanding of personal and community boundaries.

The team lead will be responsible for the development and delivery of educational programming and peer‐based skill building, support, and debriefing. The team lead will develop and support staff to develop relationships with community members to support ongoing peer and community-based overdose prevention within supportive housing, including but not limited to regular access to harm reduction supplies, witnessing, overdose response and overdose prevention trainings and advocacy.

The team lead will support staff to develop a cohesive team, with systems of collective accountability and interpersonal conflict resolution. The team lead will meet with staff daily, via check‐ins and debriefing.

The HRS Team Lead must demonstrate capacity to support staff and community members, while overseeing the delivery of educational programming and harm reduction-based services. This position relies on flexibility and self‐motivation, and experience supporting/working alongside folks with lived and living experience.

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 HIV, HCV and other blood‐borne disease transmission and prevention strategies, as well as evidence‐based educational and harm reduction intervention to individuals and priority populations to increase knowledge of overdose prevention and response strategies.


1.Supports staff through systems of debriefing, including daily check‐ins and 1:1 staff supervision.

2.Supervises the RRES Team and acts as a liaison between RRES staff, managers, community resources and stakeholders to communicate and manage support needs, client concerns, and issues related to operations, and critical incidents

3.Arranges staffing coverage, contacts casual staff members to call‐out shift(s), confirms staffing according to seniority and making any necessary scheduling adjustments

4.Provides break coverage and coverage when minimum staffing is not met

5.Assists with paperwork including but not limited to the completion of statistics, leave forms, weekly narrative and reporting, as required, to ensure Managers receive information and reports in a timely manner

6.Engages in planning, evaluation, and program development as directed

7.Develops and facilitates harm reduction based educational programming to persons living in Supportive Housing, including overdose prevention and peer skill development

8.Develops rapport and support services for contracted Resident Responders, including systems navigation and advocacy

9.Develop follow‐up care systems for Resident Responders, including client care files and systems of communication within RES Team

10.Provide on the spot, and group‐based training in overdose response and education onsubstances and safer use practices

10.Provide on the spot, and group‐based training in overdose response and education on substances and safer use practices

12.Use brief assessment, active listening, and crisis response skills to support Resident Responders and other persons living in Supportive Housing

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

14.Responsible for harm reduction supply distribution and recovery

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

16.Engage with service users in a collaborative, person‐centered approach grounded in harm reduction

17.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

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

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

20.Provides training and support to build capacity for peer lead initiatives

21.Performs other duties as assigned.


Diploma in health or social services (Social Work, Psychology, Mental Health Support Worker, etc.) or equivalent combination of education and experience

Minimum of three years’ relevant work experience

Supervisory experience in a front-line social service agency working with vulnerable folks who use substances. This includes a demonstrated knowledge of harm reduction practice and social services systems (income assistance, housing, healthcare)

Ability to manage and support staff with diverse experiences.

Valid Class 5 Driver’s License with “normal’ Driver status, free of restrictions and holds.

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)

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

Experience developing, delivering, and tailoring educational programming, including but not limited to harm reduction, safer sex and safer use education etc

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. Including but not exclusively street outreach, encampments, and hotel sheltering sites and supported housing.

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 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 healthapproaches and models of social support and health care

Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices.

Ability to apply conflict resolution strategies and work through a diversity of issues with community members and staff.

Crisis intervention skills and ability to work under pressure.

Advocacy skills

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 forCOVID‐19 or have an approved medical exemption. Proof of vaccination status will be required for successful applicants for positions covered by the order.


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: Varied, Casual basis

Position: This is a casual position

Location: 713 Johnson Street and work in the community 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 through jobs@avi.org by September 25 2023, 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.

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

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.