Harm Reduction Specialist

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Location: 743-749 East 9th St Cylar House

Salary Range: $19/hr – $20/hr commensurate with experience

About Housing Works:

Housing Works was founded in 1990, with a long-term commitment to AIDS advocacy. Housing Works established New York State’s first harm reduction-based, OASAS-licensed outpatient drug treatment program. Other services include Health Home care management, behavioral health, and syringe exchange programs. A pioneer in the social entrepreneurship movement, Housing Works operates 10 high-end thrift shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn and a much-loved Bookstore Cafe in Soho. For more information, visit www.housingworks.org

Housing Works fights for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment, among other lifesaving services.

Position Overview:

The Harm Reduction (HR) Specialist is the main link between clients, agency staff and medical care providers. This will be done by conducting assessments, enrolling clients into case management programs, providing health education and various other services. HR Specialists build relationships, solve problems, locate resources, and promote the recovery, independence, health and wellbeing of clients. The HR Specialist must be knowledgeable about agency services and community resources, including educational, social and emotional supportive services available to clients. Duties also include client outreach, coordinating care, proper documentation, maintaining patient databases, conducting individual and/or group services, and performing various administrative tasks.


  • Primary Functions:
    • Conduct an initial assessment with each new client to assess his/her/their health and wellness status and experience with getting health care
    • Provide health promotion, health education, and risk reduction interventions as needed
    • Maintain routine communication and assists with care coordination services for primary care and psych services, including reminder calls
    • Maintain appropriate and timely communication with all members of the care team
    • Communicate with clients on a regular basis to keep them engaged and to monitor service goals
    • Navigate the medical system including making medical appointments, client escorts, helping clients communicate with medical personnel and assisting with follow-up as needed
    • Complete and submit documentation of services provided in a timely and efficient manner
    • Conduct group services for clients on topics including general wellness and harm reduction
  • Secondary Functions:
    • Attend meetings and trainings as deemed appropriate and related to the scope of service
    • Adhere to workplace policies and procedures, including confidentiality, documentation, channels of communication, workplace culture, and conflict resolution
    • Participate in quality assurance and quality improvement planning projects and activities as directed
    • Participate in weekly/monthly staff and peer worker development meetings and interventions

Minimum Requirements:

  • Minimum of a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma required
  • Experience providing care navigation services preferred
  • Preferable training in the following areas: HIV 101, Viral Hepatitis 101, Motivational Interviewing, LGBTQ Sensitivity, Harm Reduction, Overdose Prevention, Safer Injection, HIV Confidentiality and Risk-Reduction Counseling, and De-escalation
  • Culturally aware and sensitive to PWUD (People Who Use Drugs), PLWHA (People Living with HIV/AIDS), LGBTQAI, YIDU (Young Intravenous Drug Users), SMI (Severe Mental Illness), and MSM (Men who have Sex with Men)
  • Ability to enter data into programs databases such as AIRS, e-Share, EiCare
  • Good group facilitation skills and overdose prevention training experience
  • Skilled with health insurance navigation and documentation
  • Good verbal, written, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Use of computer software –Microsoft Office Suite including Word and Outlook calendaring, and Excel
  • Bilingual in Spanish/English helpful
  • Frequently remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods
  • Occasionally commuting to additional worksites
  • Occasionally lifting and moving objects up to 25 pounds in ordinary office related tasks

**It is an essential job requirement to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for this role. If you need an accommodation of any kind for religious or disability reasons, including related to this job requirement, please contact Human Resources.


We have three comprehensive healthcare plans to choose from based on your priorities and budget. Housing Works covers most of the plan; you pay a portion, based on your salary. Staff begins accruing PTO immediately for a total of up to 30 days earned in the first year. We offer employees an educational benefit. This money is available for tuition loan reimbursement, tuition costs, and text books.

Housing Works provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements. Housing Works complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. Housing Works also does not request prior salary information during the hiring process. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

This position is included in a bargaining unit of Housing Works’ New York City employees represented by a labor union known as the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (“RWDSU”). Accordingly, the RWDSU has the exclusive right to bargain over the terms and conditions of employment related to this position and this position may become covered by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (a “CBA”) between Housing Works and the RWDSU

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Last Updated on July 5, 2023 by HepFree NYC

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