Community Health Worker – Shelter-Hotel Harm Reduction Project

We are a dynamic community-based health centre promoting social justice and health equity in the Regent Park neighbourhood and east downtown area of Toronto. We operate out of several locations and provide a wide variety of services including: primary health care, chiropody, physiotherapy, health promotion, social work, community health, immigrant and refugee services, housing assistance, harm reduction and homeless programs, Pathways to Education for high school students, infant and child development programs, parenting education and family advocacy.


Community Health Worker – Shelter-Hotel Harm Reduction Project

2 Full Time 1 year Contracts

35 hours per week

Salary Range: $27.09 to $32.63 per hour plus benefits


Position Summary

The Community Health Worker (CHW) for the Shelter-Hotel Harm Reduction Project will engage and work with community members who use drugs and have mental health issues through the provision of short-term case management, overdose prevention education, harm reduction supply distribution, harm reduction education provision and through referrals to additional services. This position is further responsible to provide informal counselling and work on community engagement and capacity building to support individuals in accessing and maintaining connections with mental health, primary care and harm reduction programs/services and who are living in shelter hotels and various sheltering locations (including respites, physical distancing sites and drop-ins). 

These positions have been created to increase harm reduction supports at a range of sheltering sites across the city. Six (6) community-based Harm Reduction Programs are working collaboratively to bring these essential services to the locations with priority needs, with funding support from the City of Toronto. The 6 participating organizations are Regent Park, LAMP, South Riverdale, Parkdale Queen West CHCs, Street Health and The Neighbourhood Group, in collaboration with Toronto Public Health - The Works.

Specific Duties Include:

  • Provide overdose prevention education and counselling related to safer drug use/safer sex supplies, disposal of used equipment, reducing risks of overdose and transmission of Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS to clients at various sheltering locations
  • Educate clients regarding overdose prevention and management, including the use and administration of naloxone where appropriate.
  • Provide harm reduction education, supplies and supports to clients
  • Work in collaboration with clients, site providers and teams to identify harm reduction needs and supports skills development and to support clients to develop and achieve their goals
  • Support and work with people who use drugs in peer roles to provide harm reduction supports to clients
  • Participate in systemic advocacy, grassroots organizing, awareness raising and public education for positive social change via involvement in community-based committees and networks
  • Provide referrals to health, social, legal and other relevant services in shelter hotels, and work to ensure clients are integrated into the appropriate services both within CHCs and wider community as required
  • Provide information/referral, advocacy, supportive counselling and case coordination to individual clients who have concerns about housing, financial, health, self-care, substance use and mental health, and other issues
  • In collaboration with site staff and residents, design relevant harm reduction programming, including groups and other related initiatives to enhance harm reduction capacity at hotel sites
  • Follow safety protocols established by the Harm Reduction Program during fieldwork, including needle distribution and collection, team communication, crisis prevention and de-escalation
  • Address emerging demands and crisis needs
  • Participate in Harm Reduction Program initiatives and event-planning as needed
  • Participate in program evaluation and client needs assessment, in conjunction with the Coordinator of Harm Reduction


  • A Degree or Diploma in in a related field, or relevant experience
  • A minimum of 3 years of community based experienced working with marginalized and homeless populations who experience multiple systemic barriers
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated ability to apply harm reduction principles and practices in work with the community
  • Extensive knowledge of overdose prevention and response strategies
  • Skills and experience engaging people who use drugs in street outreach, shelters, and/or drop-ins settings
  • Proven case management and system navigation experience 
  • Program coordination experience, with a specific understanding of harm reduction, is considered an asset
  • Excellent understanding of impacts of systemic oppression on marginalized individuals and communities, including women and mothers who use drugs
  • Skills and experience engaging people through arts-based social justice initiatives
  • Skills and experience designing and delivering diverse group programming, including arts-based approaches, popular education, participatory research, peer support and information/education focused groups
  • Demonstrated understanding of principles of community development and experience applying these principles in work settings
  • Extensive experience in conflict resolution and crisis intervention
  • Extensive knowledge and ability to apply or integrate mental health, harm reduction and crisis services and systems
  • Proficiency in the use of computer technology and various software applications
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in one or more languages other than English, and personal/lived experience of drug use, homelessness, and/or street involvement would be considered assets.
  • Demonstrated experience in peer recruitment, training, and supervision considered an asset
  • Ability to work collaboratively within and across teams
  • Understanding of Anti-oppression principles and ability to work effectively with people of various cultural, age and economic backgrounds
  • Knowledge of the Regent Park area and issues affecting the community
  • Must be drug and sex positive


Regent Park CHC is committed to equity and employment practices.  Applications are encouraged from qualified individuals who are Indigenous people, members of racialized communities, individuals of diverse sexual orientation and gender identification, persons with disabilities and other protected under the Human Rights Code as well as individuals with lived experience in the Regent Park community. This is a bargaining unit position within OPSEU Local 5115.

Please submit your resume and cover letter, noting job title in the subject line, by November 11, 2020 to:


465 Dundas Street East Toronto, ON M5A 2B2

No phone calls please. We thank all applicants for their interest in this position, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. RPCHC is committed to developing an inclusive, selection process and work environment. If contacted, please advise the hiring manager if you require any accommodation during the interview process.

Application Deadline

November 11, 2020 (All day)