Casual SAFER Outreach Support Worker – Victoria
Work Locations: 713 Johnson and outreach / in community and when determined the publicly accessible location, Victoria, BC.
Hours of Work: Varied shifts Monday through Sunday between the hours of 10:00 – 3:00
Start Date: ASAP
The Victoria SAFER Initiative is a flexible, community-based, safe supply model with health care provider oversight. Its goal is to save and affirm the lives of people who use drugs by providing safer, pharmaceutical alternatives to the currently toxic supply.
The SAFER Outreach Support Worker applies their lived/living experience of illicit drug use to build and maintains relationships with people who use drugs, specifically with those individuals who are supported by the SAFER Initiative. They will practice harm reduction in their relationships to build trust and provide community peer support. They will work as part of the SAFER team, which includes nurses and physicians, to increase accessibility to pharmaceutical alternatives to toxic drugs and to respectful, non-judgemental health care. The SAFER Outreach Support Worker will be integral to building stronger community connections with people who face ongoing health and social barriers such as poverty, homelessness, and criminalization.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provides outreach support in a variety of settings including parks, encampments, shelters, supported housing and drop-in centres, for example.
- Distributes safer drug use and safer sex supplies.
- Distributes naloxone kits and provides information and training in overdose prevention and response.
- Provide witnessed consumption support as requested. Assess for overdose symptoms and respond with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary. Training is provided.
- Works collaboratively with the SAFER team to identify potential SAFER participants, provide information regarding access to pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs, and assist with assessments and intakes.
- Provides harm reduction information and referrals for other health and social services.
- Connects regularly with SAFER participants and offers peer support through active listening skills and non-judgmental attitude.
- Works with the SAFER team to ensure care plans are updated based on participants needs.
- Liaise between SAFER participants and SAFER nurses and physicians to support participants to be heard and assist with keeping communication open and accessible.
- Attends regularly scheduled team meetings and individual supervision meetings.
- Keeps records (statistics) about services provided.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Have a minimum of two years’ experience working within harm reduction outreach settings
- Have lived/living experience with illicit drug use and related health and social barriers such as poverty, homelessness and/or other physical or mental health issues. 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.
- Have a current knowledge of the local street scene and cultural norms related to street life and can relate as a peer with participants of the SAFER Initiative.
- 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 with overdose response, including administration of naloxone, is an asset. Demonstrated commitment to working in a team environment.
- 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
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required to work effectively with co-workers, clients, community, and other service providers
- 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.
- Demonstrated cultural safety and humility, and trauma-informed practices.
- Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices.