SAFER Support Worker - many shifts; FT, PT, Casual possible

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).


Multiple positions available. Under the direct supervision of the SAFER Program Coordinator, the SAFER Support Worker applies their lived/living experience of criminalized drug use to build and maintain relationships with SAFER 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 program space and to act as a SAFER ambassador in the community.


  1. Baseline staffing in clinic to ensure program is open and fully functional 7 days/week.
  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 SAFER team with 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. Keeping the clinic space & booths sanitary.
  7. Provide harm reduction information and referrals for other health and social services. Assist participants with simple tax forms, Birth Certificate Applications & other light paperwork.
  8. Connect regularly with SAFER participants and offer peer support through active listening skills and non-judgmental attitude.
  9. Liaise between participants, systems navigators, nurses and physicians to support participants to be heard and assist with keeping communication open and accessible.
  10. Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose.
  11. Contribute to a positive, respectful environment at the SAFER program space and act as a SAFER ambassador in the community.
  12. Attend regularly scheduled, monthly team meetings and individual supervision meetings.
  13. Keep records and participate in ‘team charting’ to assure comprehensive documentation.
  14. Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Minimum two years’ experience working within harm reduction settings. Experience working with safer supply programs preferred.
  • 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 peers 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.
  • Excellent self awareness; understands the impacts of how we show up to work.
  • 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.


Position Type and Number: There are many shifts available and we aim to hire multiple candidates. Please note:

  • People filling less than 15 hours/week will have a Casual position.
  • People filling between 15 and 37 hours/week will have a Part Time position.
  • People filling 37.5 hours/week will have a Full Time position.

Available Shifts:

  • Monday 10:30am-5:15pm
  • Tuesday 10:30am-5:15pm
  • Tuesday 9:15am-5:15pm
  • Wednesday 10:30am-5:15pm
  • Wednesday 9:15am-5:15pm
  • Thursday 10:30am-5:15pm
  • Thursday 9:15am-5:15pm
  • Friday 10:30am-5:15pm
  • Saturday 9:15am-5:15pm
  • Saturday 9:15am-5:15pm
  • Sunday 9:15am-5:15pm
  • Sunday 9:15am-5:15pm

Pay: $30.64/hour to start (Pay for this role is based on the BCGEU Paygrid 34)

Hours and Schedule: Shifts falling Monday to Sunday, between 9:15am and 5:15pm.

Term: This position runs until March 31, 2024

Location: The SAFER Clinic in Victoria, BC

Position Term: Position runs to March 31, 2024.

Union: AVI is a union environment under the Collective Agreement: HEABC & Health Services & Support Community Subsector Association 2022-2025.  This role is a BCGEU union position.

Benefits: Casual, Part Time or Full Time BCGEU Benefits may apply depending on how many shifts an applicant takes.

Pension: Municipal Pension Plan (MPP) may apply depending on the applicant’s current MPP status and on whether they are taking a Full Time position or not.  Part Time positions may become eligible after 2 years per MPP applicability rules.

Other Perks: Casual, Part Time or Full Time BCGEU Perks may apply depending on how many shifts an applicant takes.


To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to by 5 pm on May 22, 2023.

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.

As AVI is a union environment, internal staff will be prioritized in the hiring process.

Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

We would like to thank all those that apply but only those selected for an interview will be contacted