Harm Reduction Counselor
AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV or chronic conditions. We envision a world in which people living with HIV or chronic conditions will thrive, and there will be no new HIV cases. Our work focuses on advancing health equity, preventing new cases of HIV, serving as a collaboration and knowledge center, being a bold voice for change and strengthening our organizational excellence.
We are seeking for an individual to serve as our Harm Reduction Counselor. The Harm Reduction Counselor will work with the Center for Housing & Health (CHH) collaborative to address the substance use treatment needs of chronically homeless households living in permanent supportive housing. The CHH collaborative brings together 26 housing providers to ensure that medically vulnerable homeless households in Chicago receive housing and support services to help them achieve optimal health outcomes. This position will serve as a liaison between the members of the CHH collaborative who provide permanent supportive housing and intensive case management, as well as substance use providers. The Harm Reduction Counselor will work with housing providers to screen, assess, determine level of need, provide referrals and linkage services to the appropriate substance use providers if/when applicable.
The Harm Reduction Counselor will also provide harm reduction education & supplies as well providing in-home counseling if desired. The Harm Reduction Counselor will also provide transportation services if necessary, to treatment related services, track engagement in treatment, and conduct outreach to re-engage participants that fall out of care. CHH is a supporting organization of the AIDS Foundation Chicago.
Principal functions and responsibilities of this position include the following:
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop and maintain knowledge of the substance use provider network in Illinois, including Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), detox services, inpatient services, outpatient services, peer support, mental health care, and/or coordination with primary care when appropriate;
- Develop and maintain relationships with substance use treatment providers to understand treatment criteria and availability of services;
- Work with Housing Providers to assess and refer clients in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and Transitional Housing programs in need of substance use treatment services to substance use treatment providers;
- Provide harm reduction education to clients including training and distribution of Naloxone and fentanyl test strips;
- Support and advocate for clients to self-determine appropriate treatment options;
- Work with Housing Providers to provide outreach services to those clients who need to be re-engaged in services;
- Utilize internal and external database systems, including CaseWorthy, to track project data and client engagement;
- Assist to convene meetings and provide trainings to intensive case managers and supervisors on harm reduction, drug policy and other topics relevant to support drug user health and autonomy;
- Coordinate other related initiatives that support the CHH collaborative and the project;
- Complete funder mandated reports as necessary; document daily activities as related to the project;
- Attend regular trainings on harm reduction and related policy and advocacy issues;
- Engage in regular educational opportunities to increase knowledge about drugs, drug user health, the War on Drugs, harm reduction techniques and any other related topics to increase competency and compassion.
- Assist with agency-wide activities as directed, including Annual Meeting, AIDS Run & Walk, and others;
- Protect organization's value and manage risk by keeping information confidential;
- Perform other duties as assigned.
High School Diploma and 2 or more years in substance use or harm reduction advocacy/counseling or equivalent lived experience
PLUS Valid driver's license and acceptable vehicle insurance PLUS Reliable vehicle transportation
2 or more years substance use/harm reduction case management and/or counseling experience
LSW, LPC, Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) and, or Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) credential
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Exceptionally strong written and verbal communication skills with solid interpersonal skills along with the ability and willingness to respect and value the differences and perceptions of different groups/individuals.
Strong attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple projects, establish workload priorities, and meet deadlines and the ability to follow up with clients in a timely manner.
The ability to develop and maintain professional, trusting, positive working relationships with supervisors, staff, department managers, customers/clients, and partner agencies.
Knowledge of the causes of homelessness, who it affects, and the factors (e.g., racial inequities, Socio Economic Status) that can contribute to an individual being homeless.
Please reference position code CHH HRC 400
Decisions and criteria governing the employment relationship with all employees at AIDS Foundation of Chicago are made in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to race, ethnicity, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, citizenship status, military service and/or marital status, order of protection status, handicap, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), or any other factor determined to be unlawful by federal, state, or local statutes.