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Harm Reduction Counselor

Indigenous Peoples Task Force
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Closing date
Dec 15, 2022

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Position Type
Full Time
Area Studies, Indigenous Studies
Organization Type
For the last 35 years, the Indigenous Peoples Task Force has been at the forefront of closing the HIV/AIDS service delivery gaps for Native American and other marginalized communities across the Twin Cities and throughout greater Minnesota, based on indigenous values and ways of knowing. Since 1987, our programs and services have grown to include services that drive a return to first medicines, the use of cultural arts to support youth, and natural resource healing and reclamation.

Job Summary

Working collaboratively, the Harm Reduction Counselor educates individuals and communities impacted by injection drug use and opioid overdose fatalities. Through a trauma informed care approach, this position promotes awareness and effective usage of evidence based intervention to disrupt the cycle of opioid fatalities with a primary focus on Indigenous Minnesotans. Broadly, this position fuses harm reduction and sexual risk reduction strategies to promote, through active outreach and engagement, the awareness of and destigmatization HIV/AIDS, HIV Care, integrate STI screening, and access of harm reduction resources and treatment.

Duties and responsibilities

· Maintain and build upon IPTF's relationships and partnerships across injection drug user care continuum

· Engage Indigenous and other communities at risk of opioid related fatalities to promote effective, evidence-based harm reduction strategies and interventions

· Facilitate and cofacilitate individual and community based opioid overdose reversal and harm reduction trainings

· Occasionally conduct syringe exchange according to IPTF SSP policies and procedures

· Identify and access injection drug using population, MSM and LGBTQIA + individuals through innovative, collaborative, and active outreach and engagement

· Assess the education and prevention needs of IDUs, MSM and LGBTQIA + individuals and their sexual partners

· Maintain cooperative relationships with key leaders, including community leaders, agency staff, external agencies, businesses, and other entities within the community

· Identify clients in need of services and make active referrals

· Assist in and support the development of in Social Network recruiters and other key/influential members of the target population and large community to enhance program promotion and

· Conduct presentations in various community sites such as bars, clubs, and other gathering sites frequented by the targeted population

· Conduct HIV/STI screening that includes obtaining blood samples, completion of submission of documentation, and charting in accordance with IPTF policies and procedures

· Engage in one-to-one interactions, aimed at education and prevention, and referral to ongoing healthcare services, PrEP initiation, and other needs

· Recruit and engage high-risk, hard to reach people who use drugs or engage in sex work and distribute safer sex kits and condoms during outreach and engagement opportunities

· Participate in workgroups, advisory committees, other external meetings, and networking and professional development opportunities

· Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

• High School diploma required

• 2+ years of experience providing social services with an emphasis on effective caseload management, particularly utilizing psychosocial tools to conduct care plan create, care coordination, and identifying and making referrals to resources

• Philosophical and psychosocial understanding of and ability to set and maintain appropriate boundaries

• Working knowledge of National and Minnesota HIV and STI strategies

• Working knowledge HIV and other STI test technology

• Thorough understanding of and experience navigating the HIV Care Continuum

• Knowledge of intersection of HIV/AIDS, chemical dependency, mental health, housing, health insurance, and social determinants of health equity

• Ability to listen and de-escalation, and drive to problem solving

• Understanding of culturally relevant care, primarily Indigenous cultural practices and how engagement in them benefit improved health outcomes

• Strong interpersonal skills

• Effective written and oral communication abilities

• Proficient with Microsoft Office Suit and database management systems

• Ability to work collaboratively and independently

• Solid organization skills with an ability to prioritize and management a diverse and voluminous workload

• Understanding of confidentiality

• Must possess a valid driver's license

• Must pass a criminal background check

Preferred Qualifications

• Undergraduate degree in Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, or other related field

• Demonstrable knowledge of and experience working with Indigenous communities

• Knowledge of the Minnesota housing challenges and current and emerging programs and resources

• Working knowledge of and experience with navigating the Minnesota housing systems

• Experience providing services through a trauma-informed care and harm reduction framework

• Ability at problem solving

• Ability to work independently and collaboratively

• Experience with social media networking and outreach

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