Organizational Summary:
Envision a future where health disparities do not exist, where HIV transmission is extremely rare, and where people living with HIV have access to the medications and social support they need to live healthy, long lives. San Francisco AIDS Foundation has worked to create such a future since 1982 through education, advocacy and direct prevention, substance use health and supportive services. More than 25,000 people every year access free HIV testing and STI screening, harm reduction and syringe access and disposal, community engagement, and health navigation services. We need passionate agents of social change, vanguards of public health, and creative problem-solvers to join our fight.

Position Overview:
SFAF’s Syringe Access & Disposal Services (SAS Program) is California’s largest syringe access and disposal health engagement program. Our program provides evidence-based interventions to improve health outcomes for people who inject drugs (PWID) including decreasing accidental death due to overdose; reducing HIV, STI and HCV infection and transmission rates; improving engagement in care, treatment & adherence. Our mobile and stationary sites provide syringe access & disposal services, health education, counseling, professional & peer support, outreach, linkage, and other community and health improvement-focused services.  

The Harm Reduction Counselor uses Motivational Interviewing to engage PWID in health education, vein care, overdose prevention, substance use management, and medication assisted treatment (MAT) at the 6th Street Harm Reduction Center, SAS mobile sites, encampment and street-based outreach venues. The Harm Reduction Counselor responsibilities include: building relationships with program participants; providing linkage and limited navigation and case management services to PWID, providing syringe access & safe disposal services; hosting the harm reduction lounge; providing overdose prevention trainings and Naloxone distribution; facilitating groups; linking participants to health and wellness services, including substance use programming and HIV/HCV/STI testing; and partnering with staff and collaborative partners to identify and connect with PWID in need of health education coaching, deeper engagement and coordinated care to meet their health (e.g. HCV treatment, wound care) and substance use goals (e.g. suboxone treatment, reduced overdose risk).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

1. Health Education & Wellness Coaching: Provide motivational interviewing counseling for PWID in low-threshold settings (e.g. walk-in groups, milieu counseling opportunities, and walk in individual sessions). Includes strategizing around substance use management/treatment, including assessing nutrition goals, obtaining legal documents, creating or strengthening routines and social connections, overdose prevention education and response, enrolling in ongoing mental health and substance use counseling, and accessing primary care. 
2. Limited Case Management/Linkage: Build relationships with PWID, assess needs and goals, provide referrals, linkage, and limited case management to help PWID connect to and maintain engagement with internal and external substance use, mental health, healthcare, HIV/HCV/STI testing and treatment services. Connect participants with on-going (not time-limited) needs to medical, mental health, substance use treatment, and homeless case management services.
3.Suboxone Linkage and Navigation: Provide education on and link participants to medication assisted treatment (MAT). Provide follow up, individual counseling, facilitate a weekly group, and provide patient navigation and adherence support to SAS participants enrolled in suboxone treatment. Build and maintain strong collaborative relationship and communication lines with collaborative partners to coordinate care.
4. Outreach: Conduct street outreach and venue based outreach. Provide information, education and referral. Develop relationships with community agencies and providers to improve outcome and linkage to services. Develop outreach and educational materials.
5. Administrative & Logistics: Complete all required documentation, including tabulating site data in a timely manner and within the guidelines established by the program and all funding and licensing bodies. Maintain resource guide for substance users with particular focus on those who use opiates/opioids. Assist with staging and breaking down/cleaning the 6th Street Harm Reduction Center and mobile sites. Includes restocking inventory, garbage/recycling, safe disposal of biowaste, and cleaning/maintaining safe restroom and protocols.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Awareness and sensitivity to diverse and marginalized populations.
  • Ability to speak candidly and knowledgeably about drug use and sexual risk.
  • Ability to implement de-escalation/crisis intervention techniques, recognize and intervene to prevent violence, and follow safely protocols.
  • Uses sound judgment in making independent decisions and works well on a team. 
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and sometimes chaotic environment with people who can be high, low or crashing and/ or who may have untreated mental and/or physical health challenges.
  • Knowledge of ethical issues and legal reporting requirements.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and appropriate boundaries.
  • Ability to practice self-care as well as utilize resources (e.g. supervision, team check outs, and external supports) to prevent and address burnout and vicarious trauma.
  • Ability to be flexible, adjust to schedule changes to meet programmatic needs, and communicate professionally.

Education and Experience:
  • Minimum three to five years of experience working with people who inject, highly marginalized, homeless populations.
  • Minimum three years of demonstrated experience using motivational interviewing and strong understanding of harm reduction practices and principles with PWID. 
  • Minimum two years’ experience facilitating health education, harm reduction, and/or substance use management groups.
  • Minimum one years’ experience providing low threshold drop in services (drop in center, health center, fixed van based outreach site) 
  • Minimum one year experience doing street outreach with PWID.
  • Understanding of HIV/HCV disease prevention and treatment.
  • Proven ability to multi-task and problem solve, strong organizational and record keeping skills, good communication skills, ability to effectively engage volunteers and participants, and work on a team.
  • Proof of valid California driver’s license with excellent driving record required.
  • California state certified drug & alcohol counselor (i.e. CAADE, CADAC, etc.) and/or master’s degree in counseling, social work, or allied field with California license eligibility. Meets minimum training and certification standards to provide substance use counseling services in the city and county of San Francisco.
  • Experience facilitating skills-based groups, i.e. DBT, Seeking Safety, Relapse Prevention.
  • Customer service experience.
  • Bi-lingual Spanish - English

Physical Requirements and Work Environments:
This position requires driving. Ability to perform bending, stooping, twisting, and reaching. This position requires standing for periods of up to five hours and walking distances of up to 3 miles, working in small counseling rooms, crowded drop in spaces, and behind harm reduction supply table- being in close proximity to co-workers and participants. Ability to work in a busy drop in center that is sometimes loud with voices and in neighborhoods with sirens and lively sidewalks. Able to tolerate body odor, the scent of cleaning products. Skill in operating office equipment such as a personal computer, copy machine and telephone system. Ability to perform routine bending, stooping, twisting, and reaching. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The position requires work during evenings, weekends and limited holidays. 
Schedules may include providing shift coverage for direct services and logistics/ inventory activities to cover vacations, sick days, and special events.

Work Environment:
This position is primarily located at 1035 Market Street, 117 6th Street, Turk Street storeroom, satellite locations and van based services. 
The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required for personnel so classified. 
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation is an Equal Opportunity employer. We actively seek applications from people living with HIV/AIDS, and other disabilities, women, LGBTQ people, and people of color.
Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.. 
Application Process:
Please visit our careers page at:

Department: Syringe Access Services
This is a full time position

Visit Careers at San Francisco AIDS Foundation

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