Harm Reduction Peer Navigator – Lead

internal/external posting

Job Title:         Harm Reduction Peer Navigator – Lead

Job ID #:         IHS HRPNL 22-0722

Department:   Integrated Health Services

Reports To:     Manager, Harm Reduction and Mental Health

Salary Range: CS1 $36,211.50 – $49,998.00 per annum

Status:             Full-Time, Contract to March 31, 2025

Hours:             37.5 hours per week

Vacancies:      1

Who we are:

Sherbourne Health is a dynamic provider of integrated health services, community programs and capacity-building initiatives that enable people and diverse communities to achieve wellness.

As an urban health agency in downtown Toronto, Sherbourne provides holistic primary care and chronic disease management, mental health services, health promotion and education, and outreach and social supports. Sherbourne’s doors are open to everyone, with a focus on 2SLGBTQ communities, people experiencing homelessness and newcomers to Canada, whose complex needs are often not met by traditional health care. Sherbourne combines high quality clinical care with responsive, culturally appropriate community development programs that bring low-barrier services to people in the surrounding communities who need it most.

Accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada, we are primarily funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Our work is also supported by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the City of Toronto, and federally through the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Working at Sherbourne

At Sherbourne Health, we care about our staff and recognize that our biggest strength is our people. We have a solid commitment to life-long learning which is demonstrated through our professional development program. We invest in collective work and staff training to improve client care. We supplement this by creating a low-barrier work environment built on equity and respect, while working together in caring, cohesive teams and providing opportunities for advancement.

we believe in work-life balance and offer:

  • A competitive salary.
  • Membership in Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).
  • An extended healthcare and dental package.
  • Paid time off
  • Six fully paid professional development days per year – related to position/responsibilities.
  • A generous professional development plan: up to $1300 to be used towards learning activities.

about the role:

The Harm Reduction Peer Navigator – Lead will work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team to provide low threshold outreach, peer-to-peer education, and peer navigation support to members of our community who use drugs.

day to day responsibilities:

Harm Reduction Peer Navigators will support clients of various Sherbourne programs (Primary Care, Acute Respite Care (ARC), and STASH (our harm reduction drop-in for people who use drugs)) through:

  • Outreach: develop and implement outreach activities to reach more clients
  • Education and supplies for clients: distribute supplies and provide education on harm reduction, hepatitis C, and HIV to clients who use drugs (in peer-to-peer encounters and in workshops/education sessions)
  • Peer-Navigation Support: help clients access services through referrals, accompanying them to appointments and sharing knowledge of the healthcare system
  • Education for staff: provide guidance and training for Sherbourne staff to provide culturally-competent care for people who use drugs
  • Program Development (Lead): participate in program development by bringing peer-based expertise to program, and act as the point person for the development of the education sessions, program planning, and program evaluation initiatives
  • Program Statistics: keep track of program encounters and the number of people reached

Additional duties include:

  • Network with internal and community partners to ensure client access to services
  • Build partnerships with program partners, at Sherbourne and in the community
  • Routinely track, compile, and write reports on confidential data at agency and funder’s request
  • Ensure that all necessary reports are completed and submitted to the appropriate sources meeting set deadlines
  • Restock harm reduction distribution room and cabinet with supplies.
  • Communicate effectively with Sherbourne and partner agency staffs to ensure needs are met and clients are receiving effective and efficient service.
  • Make notes on all client encounters appropriately and on time.
  • Reminds clients of appointments and accompany client, when needed
  • Give out harm reduction materials and ensure proper disposal of used equipment
  • Find out client knowledge of best practice for safer drug use and provide education regarding safer drug use techniques
  • Help out with program delivery in other areas as needed (e.g. WINK, ARC, Hep C program, SOY)
  • De-escalate conflict with participants, according to established protocols
  • Offer support and guidance to program colleagues to meet project deliverables

To thrive in this role, you’ll need


  • Diploma in a discipline related to health, social services or harm reduction is not necessary but is considered an asset
  • 2 years’ experience in working in a community setting is considered an asset
  • Lived experience of substance use (and/or experience in advocacy for persons who use substances and/or knowledge of substance use, through a combination of lived experience, work experience, and education/training)
  • Volunteer or work experience within a harm reduction program
  • Knowledge and experience regarding harm reduction practices and knowledge of harm reduction strategies, including Hep C and HIV prevention and overdose response
  • Demonstrated experience of working effectively with our priority client populations – people living in poverty, racialized populations, Indigenous peoples, individuals engaged in sex work, prisoners/ex-prisoners, people with mental health challenges, newcomers, refugees, and 2SLGBTQ people
  • Strong knowledge of issues affecting marginalized communities and the community and government programs that affect them
  • Ability to work within an anti-oppression framework; understands and appreciates the diversity of our client and staff population and community.
  • Engages in ethical conduct, follows established policies and procedures, using sound judgement, understands and maintains client/worker boundaries.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of the programs at Sherbourne and partner agencies.
  • Ability to use computer technology, including electronic medical records.


  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure, to anticipate potential problems/conflicts and take appropriate actions and to meet deadlines.
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills; open, non-judgmental, and willing to learn.
  • Excellent advocacy and negotiation skills.
  • Strong commitment to health promotion, community development and adult education.
  • Ability to work in a language in addition to English is a definite asset.

conditions of employment:

  • Offer of employment is contingent upon satisfactory outcome of background checks i.e., professional references, education verification, criminal background check, and vulnerable sector check.
  • Understands and works within the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Ontario Human Rights Code and other relevant legislation.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to a healthy and safe workplace for self and others (staff, patients, families, etc.) by taking all reasonable precautions and working in compliance with SHC related policies, health and safety legislation and best practices.

working conditions:

  • This position requires work during usual business hours in an office environment as well as community locations.
  • There is occasional work during evenings and weekends to meet program needs or for special events.

to apply:  Please forward a cover letter and resume quoting Job ID #IHS HRPNL 22-0722 to myjob@sherbourne.on.ca by 5:00 pm on August 8, 2022.

Sherbourne is dedicated to building an organization that reflects the diversity of our clients and the communities we serve. This includes diversity in languages spoken, culture, race, sexual orientation and gender identity. Requests for accommodation due to disability can be made at any stage in the recruitment process.

We thank all applicants for their interest but only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

BOLD.           KIND.                      REAL.                     OPEN.            WE CARE.

To apply for this job email your details to myjob@sherbourne.on.ca