SAFER Workforce Program Coordinator- Full time

AVI Health & Community Services (AVI) is a multi-disciplinary community based organization 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).

DOPES is a drop-in harm reduction program operating out of 713 Johnson St. providing a range of services and supports for people who use substances.


This position will work in a flexible, community based, harm reduction program that provides safer, pharmaceutical alternatives to the currently toxic drug supply. This program operates in conjunction with AVI’s drop-in harm reduction services providing prescribed safe supply (PSS) to registered participants.

Under the direct supervision of the SAFER Manager or designate, the PSS Program Coordinator will work alongside a multidisciplinary team to coordinate access to on-site pharmaceutical alternatives for people who are using substances. The successful candidate will embody a philosophy and practice of collaboration, while working from a relational perspective that upholds values of harm reduction, empathy, social justice, cultural humility, and trauma informed care.


  1. Coordinates the implementation and day-to-day delivery of the 713 SAFER/DOPES Prescribed Safe Supply Program in collaboration with the program nursing staff, and the onsite DOPES manager in alignment with the goals of the SAFER program and AVI’s values and philosophy of practice.
  2. Assists as required the SAFER Manager, the Clinical Nurse Lead and the Clinical Nurse Educator with ongoing program development and evaluation.
  3. Manages program flow including welcoming and engaging with participants and connecting them to the program nursing staff and assisting in monitoring post use.
  4. Supports the team to provide intake and assessments, care-planning and response to questions and requests from participants.
  5. Provides administrative functions including making appointments and referrals, charting, preparing documents and records, filing and input into the EMR.
  6. Managing operational needs including: ordering supplies (including medical supplies), tracking inventory, managing space logistics and other operational needs.
  7. Work with program participants and team to navigate administrative and financial requirements for access to pharmaceuticals according to care plan.
  8. Uses brief assessment, crisis response and counselling skills to help meet immediate, basic needs and make appropriate referrals to other health and support services for PSS participants
  9. Act as a liaison between the Clinical Nurse Lead/Clinical Nurse Educator and Manager to communicate program support needs, participant concerns, and issues related to facilities, operations, and critical incidents.
  10. Provide information to DOPES program participants regarding access to pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs.
  11. Distribute safer drug use supplies, safer sex supplies and naloxone kits, and provide information on harm reduction practices, overdose prevention and overdose response
  12. Maintain confidential records in accordance with privacy requirements.
  13. Engage in planning, evaluation, reporting, and program development as directed.
  14. Foster safety by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents.
  15. Assist with overdose response other medical emergencies as required.
  16. Perform other duties as assigned.


  • University degree in health or social services such as counselling, social work, psychology, etc. or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum 3 years of demonstrated experience in the direct delivery of social services, ideally in harm reduction services including case management and safer supply programs.
  • Supervisory experience in a social service agency working with vulnerable folks who use substances.
  • 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.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required to work effectively with co-workers, program participants, community, and other service providers.
  • Direct service delivery and advocacy experience with community-based and provincial support services and systems (income, housing, healthcare, legal systems, etc).
  • Understanding of how systemic barriers associated with poverty, mental health, substance use, trauma, racism, colonialism, heterosexism, and gender discrimination impact individual health and well-being, as well as service delivery provision.
  • Commitment to harm reduction principles and practice, with experience working alongside coworkers and program participants who experience intersecting systemic oppression.
  • Demonstrated understanding of public health and equity-oriented models of social support and health care.  
  • Commitment to honoring Indigenous communities and ways of knowing, while approaching learning about the ongoing impacts of colonial violence with humility.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide support and advocate for a diverse range of individuals who are actively using substances and living with significant barriers to their health and well-being.
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and diffusing techniques.
  • Ability to problem solve in a complex and dynamic work environment.
  • Experience with data collection and reporting tasks.
  • First Aid certification and experience responding to critical incidents and overdose, including administration of naloxone.
  • Valid Class 5 BC Driver’s License and use of own vehicle for work purposes.


  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience in similar settings.
  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position and operate related equipment.
  • Practiced advocacy skills and ability to effectively navigate access requirements of various health and social supports (e.g., income, housing, healthcare, treatment options, etc.)
  • Excellent prioritization and time management skills, including ability to triage crises, urgent demands and complex situations within assigned working hours.
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of stakeholders including people impacted by poverty, substance use, and criminalization, as well as service providers, funders and other community members.
  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible and versatile in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Ability to establish and maintain respectful rapport with individuals who have experienced trauma and abuse due to structural violence, stigma and discrimination.
  • Ability to anticipate and identify challenges and proactively address through collaborative problem-solving.
  • Crisis intervention skills with a diverse population facing significant structural barriers.
  • Ability to work outdoors during all types of weather in all seasons.


  • Pay: $36.30/hour to start with stepped increases based on your seniority with AVI. (Pay for this role is based on the BCGEU paygrid 38 +10%)
  • Hours and Schedule: 37.5 hours/week Monday through Friday 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, may vary based on program needs.
  • Afternoon 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. As such, some of the shifts of this ad qualify for an additional $0.25/hour premium.
  • Start and End date: As soon as possible and is an ongoing position.
  • Number of positions available: 1
  • Location: 713 Johnson Street, SAFER clinics and 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.
  • Benefits: 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.
  • Pension: If you are already a member of the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP), you can continue with them at AVI immediately.  If not, after 488 hours, you will be eligible to join the Municipal Pension Plan. At this time, AVI contributes an additional 9.31% towards your pension account.
  • Other Perks: This position gets 6% vacation (equivalent to 3 weeks), receives a paid day off for every Stat Holiday and Easter Monday and accrues a Sick Bank of 6.9%.  Sick and Vacation Days are both available to be used after your first 488 hours at 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 by 5 pm on October 30, 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.

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.