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.
R.E.S. Team - Resident Responder Engagement & Support Team: will be 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.
Resident Responder Organizational Support: The RES Team will be responsible for supporting AVI’s Peer Resident Responders, to develop skills and capacities that will aid them in continuing to provide frontline overdose prevention and peer-based support to persons at risk of overdose and who are marginalized from equitable care. The RES Team will ensure the organizational support and skill development of Resident Responders by facilitating weekly trainings, team meetings and skill development opportunities.
In addition, the RES Team will ensure Resident Responders have the tools and supplies necessary to provide harm reduction support and overdose response.
Resident Responder Debriefing Support: RES Team will develop supportive relationships with Peer Resident Responders that honours their living knowledge and capacities, while aiming to develop systems, educational opportunities and a team culture that improves each Resident Responders wellness and aids in their capacity to work frontline. Embedded within a harm reduction lens, this team will support Peer Resident Responders with weekly debriefing and follow-up support, paying particular attention to the harms associated with attending to overdose in one’s community/home/with friends and family. Follow-up supports will include a weekly debriefing with Super Resident Responders and Supportive Housing Site Staff. RES Support Workers will help to facilitate effective communication between Super Resident Responders and housing staff about the sites harm reduction needs.
Resident Responder Systems Navigation: The RES Team will also provide systems navigation support for Peer Resident Responder Support. Team members will support Resident Responders to navigate and access health and social care services, including those which immediately impact their wellness and capacity to continue in frontline work.
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Harm Reduction Education: The RES Team will also be responsible for supporting Peer Resident Responders to facilitate group events and education sessions within each housing site, thus helping to address issues of accessibility and appropriateness within harm reduction services.
**Team will support resident responders to witness safer substance use where appropriate and requested including in designated site consumption spaces and in resident homes.
The RES Team Support Worker as a part of the greater AVI Harm Reduction Services Team provides 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 support and advocacy for contracted Resident Responders.
Team Support workers develop relationships with community members to support ongoing peer and community-based overdose prevention services within supportive housing and overdose prevention services, including but not limited to regular access to harm reduction supplies, witnessing, overdose response, safety planning and overdose prevention trainings and advocacy.
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 experience developing and facilitating harm reduction educational programming, and the awareness, empathy, ability to provide non-judgemental support in group settings.
Confidence in group facilitation, advocacy, as well as overdose response 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.
**Team both provides direct witnessing services, and supports resident responders to witness, safer substance uses where appropriate and requested including in designated housing consumption spaces, at AVI OPS sties and in resident homes.
In addition to the above, the REST Support Worker - Driver position will be responsible for safely transporting team members, program participants/ resident responders, supplies and disposals between programming sites and spaces in Victoria. The driver will be required to comply with AVI’s driving policies.
KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Safe transportation of HRS teams, program participants, supplies and disposals between programming sites and locations.
- Responsible for harm reduction supply distribution and recovery
- Develop and facilitate harm reduction based educational programming to persons living in Supportive Housing, including overdose prevention and peer skill development.
- Provide on the spot, and group-based training in safer substance use, overdose prevention education and first aid response, including education on administration of naloxone and overdose response.
- Provide on the spot debriefing supports and care for resident responders attending to overdoses.
- Develop rapport and use brief assessment, active listening, and crisis response skills to support Resident Responders and other persons living in Supportive Housing, including systems navigation and advocacy from a collaborative, person-centered approach grounded in harm reduction.
- Monitor and support people 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 (such as overdose prevention and response), including the ability to use communication devices.
- Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose.
- Maintain both paper and electronic confidential records, as required.
- Provides training and support to build capacity for peer lead initiatives.
- 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
- Valid Class 5 BC Driver’s License with 1 year free of holds and restrictions.
- 1-year minimum direct harm reduction service delivery experience in the community social services sector. Or equivalent relevant experience.
- First Aid training and experience responding to critical incidents and overdose response, including administration of naloxone.
- 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
- Ability to adjust and triage through HRS roles and sites according to programming needs with the support and supervision of managers and Team leads.
- 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 12:30 pm to 8:30pm
- Position: This is a casual position
- Location: 713 Johnson Street
- Start and End date: Asap and ending on November 30,2023
- 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.
Please send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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.