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Harm Reduction Counselor

Job Title
Harm Reduction Counselor
Chicago,  IL 60606
Other Location
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.

The salary range for this role is $43,000 to $47,000.

  • 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
The list of essential functions, as outlined herein, is intended to be representative of the tasks performed within this classification. It is not necessarily descriptive of any one position in this class. The omission of an essential function does not preclude management from assignment of duties not listed herein if such functions are a logical assignment to the position.


Minimum Qualifications
  • 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
Preferred Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 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
  • The ability to attend to and verify the accuracy and completeness of detailed information in paper documents or electronically (i.e., charges, data, due dates).
  • Basic knowledge or willingness to learn of HIV infection and related chronic diseases
  • The ability to provide client support through home visits across the Chicagoland area
  • The ability to use computer and web-based systems (e.g., PC-based tools, Microsoft applications, Web-based applications)
  • The ability to provide efficient, quality service to both internal and external customers
  • The ability and willingness to respect and value the differences and perceptions of different groups/individuals

The work environment is representative of that found in a general office environment.  Tasks involve minimal physical activity requiring some walking, standing, or bending. Tasks may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of light weight (up to 10 pounds.) Tasks may also involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation and on the telephone.

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