POSITION TITLE: Women’s Peer Support Specialist
PROGRAM: Kingsway Community Station
SALARY: $26.42/hour (BCGEU grid 34) + $2.50/hour as a premium for night shifts.
TYPE: Casual Ongoing, 0.4 FT
SCHEDULE: Friday and Saturday 10:00pm-6:00am; at present includes a 30-minute paid meal period, subject to change. Workers are designated to be available during their meal periods. May also pick up shifts at other sites.
START DATE: As soon as possible
Gender is a bona fide occupational requirement of this position: women (trans, cis and gender diverse*) staff only please.
To apply please include your resume, with a cover letter describing your suitability for this position, in an email with the subject line of “job2022.226” to: Iesha Henderson, Manager VCH Region, at firstname.lastname@example.org
RainCity Housing is an organization that makes a difference in people’s lives. With a goal of providing a home for everyone, RainCity’s programs sustain relationships, strengthen communities and make change for people experiencing homelessness and mental health, trauma and substance use issues. We invite you to be a part of the change.
RainCity Housing serves a diverse group of people and we need a staff group that reflects the diversity. People of diverse backgrounds and cultures are encouraged to apply.
The Women’s Peer Support Specialist (WPSS) shares their own consumer knowledge and lived experience of mental illness/ substance use/ and/or sex work to assist Kingsway Community Station service users to access the Community Station and it’s associated resources. The WPSS collaborates with the people accessing the station to determine appropriate care to meeting individual needs and situational requirements. They will provide service users accessing the Community Station with education, support and advocacy from a lived experience perspective in order to assist service users in effectively obtaining service from the Community Station Peer staff, peers, external service providers and community resources. They will also provide a variety of supports to assist service users accessing the station that are involved in sex work and using substances with emotional and social supports, life skills assistance, overdose response, information, resources, safety plans and demonstrations.
The WPSS also performs general support worker duties and works alongside the honorarium compensated peers that will be working the Community Station. The WPSS works to ensure service users self identified goals for recovery and community integration are supported by appropriate services and practices, consistent with the values of self-determination, choice and harm reduction. Using a strength based model the WPSS assists with engagement/ relationship building with the sex worker community in the Kingsway area, provide support around harm reduction practices, overdose response, safety planning, bridging women into other services if needed, sharing knowledge of the housing market, receive and document bate date reports, connect and welcome the MAP Van at the Community Station and other duties as assigned. The WPSS works closely and collaboratively with other direct service staff, family and other external service providers, advocating for access and rights as needed. The WPSS also provides daily supports including safety and security around the Community Station, regular sanitation of the washrooms while on shift, crisis intervention, monitoring of the area around the Community Station, liaising with the neighbors as needed and general problem solving.
The Kingsway Community Station provides a drop in space with washrooms, snacks, supplies, and space to get ready for the evening. The washrooms and rest area are for women (trans, cis, and gender diverse inclusive) that work in the Kingsway area. The Community station is open from 10pm and will close at 6:00 am and is staffed by a RainCity Women’s Peer Support Specialist (unionized) and two women identified honorarium compensated peer workers. The role of the staff is to provide engagement/ relationship building with the sex worker community in the Kingsway area, provide support around harm reduction practices, overdose response, safety planning, bridging service users into other
services if needed, sharing knowledge of the housing market, receive and document bate date reports, connect and welcome the MAP Van at the Community station and other duties as assigned. The staff that work there will have lived experience of sex work or a strong connection to the sex worker community in Vancouver – and understanding of sex work is an absolute must to working at the Community station.
Education and Experience
· Two years of recent, related paid or unpaid work experience related to sex work and the sex work community, women-centered practice, with an emphasis on mental health, addictions, homelessness and/or social services including lived experience of sex work or strong allyship with the sex work community.
· Recent and related experience of gender-based oppression.
· A Diploma in community social services or an equivalent combination of education, training and/or experience.
· Current First Aid and CPR certification.
· Class 5 Drivers License is preferred but not required.
Knowledge and Abilities
· Ability to establish and maintain collaborative relationships with people accessing services
· Ability to identify and work to increase service user strengths.
· Ability to work with service users using culturally informed strategies.
· Ability to apply analysis and knowledge of women’s issues within a women centered framework including mental health, substance use, women’s sexual health, exposure to violence and sex work; a feminist lens is valued.
· Group facilitation and organizing skills.
· Ability to respond to problematic behaviour using an understanding of the behaviour’s context and function.
· Ability to informally teach life-skills, analyze problems and develop effective solutions.
· Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and to constructively resolve conflict with co-workers, Peer staff, management and external services.
· Ability to effectively and safely resolve crisis situations.
· Ability to collaborate with staff team and external services
· Ability to communicate effectively both in writing and verbally
· Ability to organize and priorities duties
· Ability to operate office equipment including computers
· Basic sound knowledge of mental health diagnoses, medications, treatment and support resources.
· Knowledge of the holistic addictions model, including stages of change and harm reduction,
· Basic sound knowledge of diagnoses, treatment and support resources in the areas of substance use, physical health, including HIV and Hepatitis C.
· Knowledge of the housing continuum, including market, subsidized and supported housing systems, including program models for special needs populations.
· Sound knowledge of women-centered and community services – including those designed for sex workers.
· Demonstrates understanding of oppression and marginalization, specifically as related to chronically homeless individuals, women, gender non-conforming people, mental health consumers, substance use, indigenous communities, POC communities and other women encountering stigma.
Specific Job Duties
· Provide individual and group support to women (trans, cis, gender diverse and two-spirit) that are working in and around the Kingsway area.
· Work alongside honorarium compensated peers in co-ordination of the Community Station
· Assist with creating an effective and supportive connection between the women accessing the station and the staff that are working there.
· Deliver harm reduction services and engagement about sex work
· Help with the overall cleaning and maintenance of the Community Station
· Perform related work as assigned.
General Support Worker Duties
· Establish a working relationship with service users, contacting and getting to know the women as a unique individuals.
· As a member of the staff team, participate in strengths-based service planning, including assessment, goal setting, achievement and review, resource acquisition, and monitoring in the areas of daily living, financial, vocational/educational, social supports, health (mental health, substance use, physical health), housing, culture and leisure/recreational.
· Promote the interest of service users and the program with community resources.
· Fostering awareness and understanding of the cultural context of trauma related addiction/MH among Indigenous community members.
· Crisis intervention and prevention work, including identifying potential crises and implementing preventative plans; responding to crises as they arise (mental health, physical health, non-violent crisis intervention); Report all crises to the Assistant Manager or Program Manager, using critical incident forms as required.
· Assist in maintaining the Community Station including infection control and cleaning of washrooms and other work area as needed
· Actively participate in building a skilled, cohesive, collaborative staff team, including demonstrating commitment to program principles; resolving conflict and negativity as they arise; assisting in orienting, training and mentoring of all staff, including casuals.
· Monitor safety of Community Station and surrounding area.
· Complete paperwork and documentation including: Timesheets, log entries, interventions and contacts, intakes and assessments, goal creation, service plans, service user satisfaction surveys, and program reports as required.
· Clean offices, common areas, and washrooms, including sweeping/mopping, dusting, washing dishes, washing fixtures and clean other areas as needed or directed in the absence of maintenance staff; liaise with maintenance staff; order supplies.
· Perform other related duties as assigned.