Harm Reduction Housing Support Worker - Sistering

Feb 13, 2021
Old Toronto, Ontario

Sistering is a multi-service agency that offers practical and emotional support to women and trans people facing a variety of challenging life circumstances, including poverty, homelessness, mental health, substance use and trauma histories. Sistering operates on a trauma-informed and relationship-based model and our harm reduction philosophy is a core element of all the work we do. Our programs include a low-barrier 24/7 Drop In, Housing and Case Support, Harm Reduction, Peer Outreach, On the Path to Employment, Spun Studio social enterprise and an on-site Clinic.

Position Summary:  The Harm Reduction Housing Support Worker provides intensive support to complex tenants who are using substances in existing housing partnerships and to new market rent tenancies for high support, complex homeless or precariously housed women and non-binary people who are using substances.  The position will work as part of harm reduction program team and also closely with harm reduction peers.  The successful candidate will bring a commitment to advocacy and social justice issues associated with harm reduction participants and community. 

Key Responsibilities:

Service and Program:

  • Strengthen relationship with housing partners by building harm reduction capacity and knowledge for the partners and increasing harm reduction capacity and understanding in residence
  • Deliver harm reduction programs onsite at housing partner buildings
  • Build and maintain responsive relationships with private landlords to troubleshoot and support the resolution of tenancy issues, mediating when required
  • Conduct community outreach: identify housing opportunity for harm reduction community
  • Provide safer housing access for participants in the drop in harm reduction program
  • Support life skills: conduct home visits, encourage rent direct to landlord and develop overdose prevention and safety plans collaboratively
  • Provide proactive housing stabilization supports, such as community mapping activities, eviction prevention and re-housing support services
  • Foster engagement with Sistering harm reduction program including workshops, kit making, social activities and additional income generation opportunities
  • Actively engage with participants with complex intersecting needs including homelessness, mental health issues, addictions and histories of trauma in Drop In and Harm Reduction programs
  • Provide case supports including informal counselling and emotional support, information and referrals, community advocacy and accompaniments, crisis intervention and prevention
  • Work with the Harm Reduction Coordinator, harm reduction staff, participants and peers to explore, support, and create opportunities for harm reduction programming and services


  • Maintain accurate case management records and complete statistical and qualitative reporting as required by funder and Sistering
  • Write reports, maintain up to date files, and prepare monthly statistics
  • Participate in team, as well as staff meetings and agency committees
  • Participate in regular supervision meetings
  • Supervise students and volunteers when needed

Advocacy and Community Building:

  • Provide advocacy services on behalf of Sistering participants and with other agencies
  • Collaborate with service users to identify directions and methods for social change
  • Develop and engage in advocacy in order to address systemic issues of homelessness and poverty
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships within the team, across teams and with community partners/agencies
  • Work in partnership with women and trans people, community groups, coalitions and agencies to develop strategies for community action and prevention programs

Other duties as assigned


  • Experience working in programs serving women and trans people with complex intersecting needs including homelessness, mental health issues, addictions and histories of trauma
  • Strong understanding of client-centered, trauma-informed and anti-oppression practices
  • Demonstrated commitment to, and understanding of, principles of harm reduction and low barrier service delivery
  • Strong understanding of housing systems and policies with up-to-date knowledge of emerging trends and changes; knowledge of the RTA (Residential Tenancies Act).
  • Experience working in a low barrier environment or agency
  • Proven ability to provide case support and advocacy to women and trans people from a feminist and anti-oppression framework
  • Thorough knowledge of and experience with community-based resources and services including housing, legal, income support, health, mental health and settlement
  • An understanding of systems that cause and support homelessness, poverty and marginalization
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and ability to build effective relationships with participants, team members and community partners
  • Skilled in crisis intervention, de-escalation, conflict resolution and group facilitation
  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral
  • Strong problem-solving, team building and priority setting skills
  • Educational background in social work/social services/human services work or equivalent combined work/ lived experience
  • Strong clinical abilities in working with participants who have complex needs and goals, and/or strong desire to learn and develop professionally
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and experience working with Pirouette or other client management databases
  • Experience with developing and facilitating groups is an asset
  • Additional languages besides English is an asset
  • Lived experience of substance use, mental health challenges, homelessness, and/or the effects of poverty is an asset

Work Conditions:           

The Harm Reduction Housing Support Worker works in the community, meeting with clients in coffee shops, public places and in the client’s home and attends meetings and appointments anywhere in the City of Toronto as required.

When not in the community, they will works at 962 Bloor St W.  There may be the risk of exposure to potentially unpredictable behaviors and situations.  Sistering is a 24/7 operation. This work environment is a pet friendly facility and employees will be expected to be in the proximity of animals.

Salary:  $24.95 per hour                     

How to Apply:

Please send cover letter and resume in one file to Zahra Bolouk, zbolouk@sistering.org, specifying Harm Reduction Housing Support Workerin the subject line.

Sistering is an Equal Opportunity Employer; we welcome and encourage applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities.

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application process may contact, in confidence, Tina Cai, Human Resources Manager, by email tcai@sistering.org, or phone at 416-926-9762 ext. 242.

This job is from CharityVillage
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