Hep C Harm Reduction Peer Worker

Department: Housing Works Health Services, Positive Health Project, Harm Reduction Program

The Harm Reduction Program utilizes peer-based interventions to reach people who engage in high-risk behaviors primarily people who are injection drug users (IDU). Target populations include injection (IDU), sex workers, MSM (men who have sex with men), persons of color, transgender individuals, the chronically homeless, and those with mental health issues.

Reports to: Harm Reduction Program Coordinator

Email Jacob Clary to apply: j.clary@housingworks.org

Peer Position Overview:

Peer workers are individuals who by their sole identification with the Harm Reduction community can provide program participants the support and direction needed. As a harm reduction program, we meet our clients “Where they are at”: that is, without judgments, prejudices, or pre-conceived ideas of who our clients are.

Services are provided at both Housing Works Manhattan Harm Reduction (743-743 East 9th Street) and at Housing Works Positive Health Project (30 West 37th Street).

Outreach is conducted within community organizations, twice weekly in drop-in groups, social media/online dating apps, street outreach, high-risk areas, and non-traditional sites frequented by the target population.

PEER WORKER RESPONSIBILITIES (Peer workers are expected to conduct ALL of the following services & interventions):

1. Outreach Services (Traditional + Non-Traditional)

  • Arrange & conduct street outreach activities 2x weekly (3-4 hours each) in the neighborhoods adjacent to HWCH + HWPHP to reach individuals who are at risk for Hep C
  • Conduct street outreach activities in areas of high-need as designated by NYC Dept. of Health & outlined in the scope of work
  • Outreach consists of making contact with at least 10 anonymous individuals OR 3 confidential engagements of potential clients
  • Maintain clear boundaries between clients & peers in all circumstances
  • Provide safe-injection kits/education, & safe-sex kits/education to individuals during outreach
  • Be able to speak knowledgeably about Housing Works services, & to educate potential clients while on outreach activities
  • Maintain accurate documentation of program activities & manage data collection for outreach & client engagement
  • Manage material & supplies for outreach
  • Attend appropriate trainings to enhance skills & capacity for interacting with the client base
  • Coordinate with other peers & program coordinator regarding outreach schedule
  • Distribute info/materials & provide education around Hep C, PEP/PrEP, provide linkages to initial medical visits
  • Promote Hep C testing & treatment care coordination

2. Health Education

  • Provide harm reduction supplies/equipment & other prevention paraphernalia
  • Provide health education, adapted & updated information materials to program participants
  • Educate program participants on specific harm reduction activities that reduce harm from drug use & sex practices
  • Help service users to identify which risky practices they believe could be reduced or eliminated & discuss potential obstacles
  • Identify short-term & long-term goals for clients
  • Develop SMART goals to assist clients in harm reduction practices
  • Do overdose prevention trainings with clients & potential clients
  • Education clients about safer use & injection and ways to reduce the sexual risk of infection with Hep C, HIV & other STI’s
  • Be informed about substitution therapies to aid in reducing one’s substance use
  • Be comfortable discussing intimate sexual behavior & practices with MSM and TSM clients

3. Group Facilitation

  • Assist with co-facilitating drop-in groups & treatment groups at HW & HWPHP
  • Present/reiterate group guidelines during each group & invite feedback
  • Ability to enforce group guidelines in a productive & respectful manner
  • Uphold & remind participants of the importance of confidentiality
  • Monitor group energy, & redirect when needed
  • Develop group themes, either in a group or pre-determined
  • Help group stay on task/focused
  • Be able to speak to HW/PHP Hep C services when a client need is identified
  • Ability to handle difficult situations & deescalate conflict when needed
  • Maintain group sign-in sheet, & Metro-Card sign-in sheet
  • Identify currently enrolled clients & potential clients who attend group

4. Client Navigation: Accompaniment & Coordination

  • Work directly with the Peer Navigator
  • As needed/assigned, assist clients in meeting their medical appointments
  • As needed/assigned, accompany clients to Hep C related medical appointments
  • Properly document accompaniment sessions with program participants
  • Relay pertinent information to the client’s care coordination team
  • Provide clients with appropriate referrals to internal & external programs
  • Attend meetings & trainings as needed
  • Ensure client confidentiality is maintained
  • Advocate on behalf of a client to receive needed services
  • Ability to meet with a client and identify needs & communicate those to the clients care team
  • Attend bi-weekly 1×1 meetings with Program Coordinator to discuss clients & professional development
  • Refer clients in need of mental health counseling to Program Coordinator

KNOWLEDGE SKILLS & SKILL REQUIREMENTS

  • Experience in either practicing or delivering Harm Reduction strategies
  • Ability to maintain a sex-positive & non-judgmental stance with all clientele
  • Knowledge of outreach strategies, syringe exchange, & HIV prevention techniques as well as the ability to carry out outreach activities
  • Ability to recognize personal bias, & to work with supervisors on challenging bias
  • Experience working with people who use substances, sex workers, the homeless, & those who hold a mental diagnosis
  • Team Player, with the ability to manage interpersonal dynamics
  • Ability to identify problems, as well as provide solutions to management
  • Must be willing to work outdoors & offsite for several hours during outreach activities
  • Ability to work with diverse communities
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and email correspondence
  • Ability to complete required program documentation on-time
  • Be able to set boundaries with clients, & provide services in-line with Housing Works policies and best-practices

PAYMENT/COMPENSATION

  • Peers will be compensated for hours worked; vacation, sick or personal time will be unpaid
  • Peer work is a temporary position (of up to 2 years) & can be terminated at any time by the peer or the agency
  • Performance reviews will be done every 6 months
  • Peer workers receive an hourly stipend of $8 per hour worked
  • Peers are paid bi-weekly (on Fridays)
  • Peer stipend work does not guarantee an offer of employment after the 2-year period
  • Peers are expected to document all hours worked, & receive written sign off on hours by the Program Coordinator

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Peers will be required to provide appropriate documentation to administrative assistant prior to hire including:
    • Proper identification
    • Resume
    • Copies of previous trainings/certifications
    • W4 form, & peer information forms
  • Peer will attend assigned individual supervision with Program Coordinator bi-weekly (45 min) to discuss professional development, documentation, outreach, and client concerns
  • Peers will be required to attend a once-monthly peer meeting for all Harm Reduction peers
  • Peers will be required to attend weekly group supervision
  • Peers will attend trainings as scheduled, to increase knowledge of population & skill set and to provide a foundation to peer support work. Peers will provide copies of training certificates to the supervisor after completion of each training

Contact Jacob Clary to apply: j.clary@housingworks.org

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