SAFER 713 Weekend Support Worker- Victoria

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 more than 500 people living with HIV and hepatitis C and more than 3000 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

SAFER is a flexible, community-based, harm reduction program that provides safer, pharmaceutical alternatives to the currently toxic drug supply.  SAFER is located on the territories of the Ləkʷəŋən peoples (Esquimalt and Songhees nations).


Under the direct supervision of the SAFER 713 Drop in/Workforce Program Coordinator, the SAFER Support Worker applies their lived/living experience (and adjacent) of criminalized drug use to build and maintain relationships with incoming SAFER 713 participants. They will practice harm reduction in their relationships to build trust and provide peer support. The SAFER Support Worker will be integral to helping to establish and maintain a positive, respectful environment at the SAFER 713 Harm Reduction Drop in space and to act as a SAFER ambassador within AVI and within the larger community. This position is primarily based out of the SAFER 713 drop in space, however some crossover with the workforce program may occur. 


  1. Baseline (alongside nurse) staffing on weekends to ensure the program is open and fully functional.  
  2. Call out open shifts in case of staff illness or absence.  
  3. Distribute safer drug use supplies, safer sex supplies and naloxone kits, and provide information and training about their use. 
  4. Monitor and support people who are using substances. Assess for overdose symptoms and respond with and taking direction from the SAFER Nurse. Providing rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary. (Training is provided.) 
  5. Maintain the safety of all program spaces by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents. (Trauma informed practice & De-escalation techniques) 
  6. Liase with staff from the Harm Reduction drop in and other AVI programs and services that exist in the drop in space, to create and maintain a cohesive, kind and coordinated shared space. 
  7. Keeping the space & booths sanitary, while also minding the impact on the larger drop in. 
  8. Provide harm reduction information and referrals for other health and social services.  
  9. Connect with SAFER participants and offer peer support through active listening skills and non-judgmental attitude. 
  10. Liaise between participants, systems navigators, nurses and physicians to support participants to be heard and assist with keeping communication open and accessible. 
  11. Identify and develop safety plans for people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose. 
  12. Contribute to a positive, respectful environment at the SAFER 713 program space and drop in, while always acting as a SAFER ambassador in the community.  
  13. Attending regularly scheduled, monthly team meetings and individual supervision meetings. 
  14. Keep records and participate in ‘team charting’ to ensure comprehensive documentation. 
  15. Perform other duties as assigned.  


  • Minimum two years’ experience working within harm reduction settings. Experience working with safer supply programs an asset.  
  • Have lived/living experience with criminalized drug use and related health and social barriers. Have personal experience accessing harm reduction services for safer drug use support and/or accessed other services designed to meet the needs of people who use substances. 
  • Experience responding to critical incidents and overdose, including administration of naloxone. Support to obtain first aid certificate is available if necessary.  
  • Have a current knowledge of the local drug trends and can relate as a peer with SAFER participants. 
  • 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. 
  • Comfortable approaching and initiating conversation with others and ability to build respectful rapport.  
  • Interest in learning and eager to share information with participants  with a non-judgmental attitude. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance and role of people who use drugs in the development, delivery, and evaluation of services intended to benefit them 
  • Working understanding of the importance of confidentiality and boundaries.  
  • Working knowledge in the areas of harm reduction, safer drug use, OAT, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, mental health, etc.  
  • Commitment to honor Indigenous communities and ways of knowing, and approach learning about the ongoing impacts of colonial violence with humility. 
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices. 


  • Ability to work in cooperation with others. 
  • Ability to work in a sometimes-chaotic environment that can change from day to day 
  • Excellent self awareness, able to come to work, ready to work  
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently, as needed. 
  • Ability to provide ample notice when time off is required. 
  • Ability to communicate clearly and with respect, both verbally and in writing. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain rapport with participants and observe for changes in health and well-being. 
  • Comfortable approaching and initiating conversation with others and ability to build respectful rapport. 
  • Ability to work in settings that can be high energy and stressful, with self-awareness.  
  • Ability to keep a ‘cool head’ when tense situations arise and willingness to engage in proactive problem solving. 
  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position and operate related equipment. 


  • Pay: $30.64/hour to start with stepped increases based on your seniority with AVI. (Pay for this role is based on the BCGEU paygrid 34)
  • Hours and Schedule: Shifts are on Saturday and Sunday with 7.5 hours falling between 1:00 pm to 9:30pm which will be determined based on the program requirements.
  • Location: 3rd floor -Drop in, 713 Johnson Street 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.
  • Position Type: Casual (less than 15 hours), Part Time (15 hours) and is an ongoing position
  • Part time perks: If 15 hours or more this position will be eligible for extended health, life and AD&D coverage after 488 hours with AVI.  AVI pays for the entire cost of the plan on behalf of its staff. This position gets 6% vacation (equivalent to 3 weeks), receives Stat In Lieu payments of 5% on each paycheque and has a Sick Bank of 6.9%.  Sick and Vacation are both accessible after your first 488 hours at AVI.
  • Casual perks: If the position is less than 15 hours, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.